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  • Penny Hieb

Small Town Coffeehouse

North Glendale's Small Town Coffeehouse, located at 19420 N. 59th Ave, is not your angsty millennial hangout by any stretch of the imagination. Much more likely, its the coffee house currently fueling a future neurosurgeon's all day study session. At any hour of operation, the coffee house is host to students from nearby Midwestern University, a campus with a medical school, dental school, veterinary school, and a number of professional programs in healthcare. The diminutive cafe is tucked into the upscale Citadelle Plaza, a shopping center with fitness studios, professional suites, and boutique offerings such as a cigar lounge and a gallery featuring collectible toys. The coffee bar attracts its share of graduate students with their noses to the grindstone and working professionals punching away at their laptops.

The hub of the coffeehouse's interior is a large chalkboard where ideas are exchanged and dreams are conveyed in chalk dust. At today's visit the chalkboard was host to patrons' 2020 resolutions. Among them: "do more volunteer work", "get a big girl job", and "buy a house". There are bar height tables for group study sessions, as well as some cozy arm chairs lined up on either side of a coffee table. The mocha cafe colored walls feature some really handsome coffee inspired paintings by Arizona artist Ron Larrieu of Global 1 Studio Arts.

The cafe carries your standard menu of house coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos, with beans roasted by Scottsdale's Passport Coffee. Passport has a long history in the coffee import and roasting business, dating all the way back to 1983. They source their beans from small farms and seek out socially responsible business opportunities. However, the classic menu is not where Small Town appears to focus its energy. Instead, the coffee house seems to have pivoted away from the classics and onto a large menu of specialty coffee drinks with names like Elvis mocha, a creation featuring mocha, peanut butter, and bananas; the Harry Potter which contains English toffee, almond roca, and French vanilla; and the honeybun, a drink of caramel, vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. There are at least a dozen of these concoctions available. When I asked the evening's barista what coffee beverage was the overall most popular in the cafe, her answer was the Irish Dream, a white mocha combined with Irish cream.

For the non coffee drinker, there is a category of menu items labeled "Maverick", which is essentially Red Bull mixed with any number of syrup flavors. There are also loose leaf teas on the menu and smoothies with ingredients such as beet root, turmeric, hemp, and goji berries. The cafe caters a few beverages to the keto minded, including a coffee drink with coconut oil and butter. Quick food items such as ready made sandwiches, pasta salads, and packaged tamales are available in a large refrigerator. There is a selection of fresh muffins at their coffee bar.

I tried a standard hot latte while I was there. The latte had bright and lively notes but wasn't fussed over in the way I love my lattes to be fussed over: no latte art, and minimal froth and body. Essentially, it was a flat white. Aptly named, however, Small Town Coffeehouse is staffed by baristas who are friendly and full of lots of small town charm. Don't come here in search of the third wave of coffee. Come here to try something off the beaten path, like a specialty chiller. Or, if you have high SAT scores, and lot of ambition, order something off the "Maverick" menu, curl up with your electronic textbook, and stay a while. You'll be spending many hours at a cafe like Small Town Coffeehouse one day.


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