Tuesday, August 3, 2010

St. Mark's Coffeehouse and Bakery in Denver, CO

"I started training and sleeping my way to the top" -  owner of St. Mark's Coffeehouse, on how his affair with coffee began.

On the recommendation of a dear friend, Kyle and I woke up early on Wednesday morning and headed just east of Downtown Denver, CO to St. Mark's Coffeehouse.  The neighborhood is full of charm with old beautiful homes and a walkway full of cafes, theaters, and coffeehouses.  The patio seating was almost full when we arrived and many dogs lay beneath their owners, catching some sleepy time sun.  The front of the building had an open windowed garage door, giving us an airy feeling even when inside.  We got in line next to a tempting array of homemade pastries, and Kyle eyed a crumbly soft raspberry scone.  Nothing was marked vegan so I almost chose to get the equally yummy looking blueberry scone, but decided to ask the cashier/barista if any of the items were vegan instead.  To our surprise, both of the French fruit tarts were vegan, made with a vegetable oil versus butter.  I chose the peach tart, a pastry I've never had the vegan version of before, along with a decaf americano black.  We picked a table in the back next to the windows, revealing a pink mini school bus outside.  St. Mark's rotates their art with different local artists, and today they were displaying a photographer and painter of native African portraits.  One of the tables along the wall had seats that looked like huge iron thrones, and the coffeehouse was full of people and laptops.

The peach tart was amazing, one of the the best things I had in Denver, and the coffee was quite good.  They also have a small lunch menu and serve a selection of brews in the evenings.  Their website is cute and creative and tells more about who they are and the different community things they support.

On the way out of town, we stopped at St. Mark's again, since it was so good the first time. We got our coffee and treats to-go, and realized a big bummer to their take-out.  Their coffee is served in Styrofoam cups, and that's whether you get hot or cold beverages.  The reasons why I try never to eat out of Stryofoam or support companies that use these products are numerous.  I believe Styrofoam is both harmful to our environment and bodies. There is lots of information available on the studied effects of using and producing Stryofoam that you can read more about here.

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