21 March 2011

Café Ardour

It's important to me to live in a city where I can walk from my house to a local coffee shop, breakfast restaurant, and bar (or two) in 20 minutes or less. It's best if there are several to choose from; it doesn't take long for me to find my favorite.

Fort Collins, like any good college town, has many coffee shops, each with a different atmosphere. I tend to shy away from the brainy ones, where I feel like I might need to be a pretentious student of the Beat generation to sit and sip my coffee. Or the celebrity ones where everyone goes to be seen, and where the coffee usually tastes burnt, and there is nowhere to sit.

Café Ardour is my favorite in Fort Collins, and not just because of their sour cream coffee cake (the best EVER - and if you ask nicely, they'll even give you the recipe). It is slightly off the regular Old Town path near the corner of Linden and Jefferson. It has a relaxed and comfortable feel and friendly staff - both key to a good coffee place. Like many other businesses in town, local art decorates the walls, and regularly rotates to feature new artists. There is also a wall of post cards received from various parts of the world. If I can't sit outside, I like to look at the post card wall and dream up trips, or remember places and people I've known.

Café Ardour makes some of the best coffee in town (another necessity in a coffee place). Since I can't enjoy a good espresso or cappuccino right now (and decaf is just a poor replacement), I've been drinking unsweetened Bhakti Chai lattes. I won't drink any other chai beverage since I tried the Bhakti Chai. Usually chai lattes are so sweet I feel like I might fall into a diabetic coma once I've finished my drink; but the Bhakti Chai is well spiced without the sweetness.

All the baked goods are made in-house daily, and they use local and organic ingredients for everything. They serve breakfast and lunch as well, but I've never eaten anything other than the coffee cake. Brad is a huge fan of their ginger cookies, and more recently their granola cookies. One of these days I'll make my way down there for a quick lunch.

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