gaining ground(s): black sheep coffee.

burgIMG_4552Remember when Black Sheep Coffee was tiny? It was so cute, this little fledgling coffee shop testing the water in downtown Harrisonburg. The barista was also the cashier; money changed hands on the same sliver of countertop as coffee was served; and you were freaking lucky if you were able to get a seat in the itty bitty internet cafe area. Another reason for the cuteness is that Black Sheep’s wife, The Yellow Button, was right next door! That’s right, Black Sheep and The Yellow Button are owned by Harrisonburg’s power couple, Chance and Miranda Ebersold. But after a while, relationships change. The Yellow Button wanted some new scenery, and Black Sheep Coffee needed space. So the two businesses separated. Don’t worry: Chance and Miranda are still very much married (with two children who make their story even MORE adorable)… they just work a couple blocks from each other now.

So Black Sheep was able to stretch its legs into the old Yellow Button space, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Now, directly in front of you when you walk in is the cashier — she’ll take your order. The baristas at the old counter on the right will make your crafted espresso drink, drip coffee, or pour-over and serve it to you there. And you’ll have MULTIPLE seats to choose from. There are a couple of cozy areas with armchairs and coffee tables and chess sets and such, plus a looooong counter along the wall of windows on the left side of the place. They even installed a counter and stools around a concrete pillar in the middle of the space, maximizing the number of folks they can seat. And, the old Yellow Button dressing rooms are now cute little cubicles for when you need to buckle down and get something accomplished. There’s even space for a Multicade arcade-style video game.

burgIMG_4555burgIMG_4545burgIMG_4500Their food selection expanded with the space. On the Sunday we were there, the pastry case held biscotti, banana bread, cinnamon buns, oatmeal creme pies, sundried tomato pesto goat cheese wheels, Nilla wafer cupcakes (!!), grapefruit pound cake, vegan powerballs, scones, cookies, muffins, donuts, coffee cake, quiche, and veggie pies, ALL of which are made in house, and some of which are gluten free and/or vegan. PLUS, they have a made-to-order menu, too! Breakfast and lunch, including items like salads and paninis. And if you don’t want coffee, you can get Rishi brand tea or a soda — they carry Fentiman’s, Maine Root, Harmony Springs, and Blenheim.

burgIMG_4566burgIMG_4560burgIMG_4541burgIMG_4532burgIMG_4521burgIMG_4514burgIMG_4505All this new space allows them to sell some retail items, as well. They have Chemex supplies and coffee mugs, plus bags of coffee like Mudhouse, Bob & Tom’s, Lone Oak, and Red Rooster. The newest addition to the shelf are sauces from The Shack in Staunton — Sorghum BBQ Sauce and Sorghum Hot Sauce, made by Chef Ian Boden. Miranda and Chance were so impressed with the sauces when they tried them at The Shack that they just had to bring a whole bunch back to share with Harrisonburg.

Get into Black Sheep soon! Order something fresh and stay a while. There’s plenty of room for ya.

Black Sheep Coffee is located in the Ice House building, 217 S Liberty St, and are open every day from 7am – 7pm.

burgIMG_4509Copyright © 2012-18 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Words by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

fresh as a tendril: new leaf pastry kitchen.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen feet signI hate my winter wardrobe. I can’t really even call it a “wardrobe.” It’s this weird, random collection of clothes that kinda fit and are kinda warm and look semi-okay, accompanied by shoes that make my size-eleven feet look Elfin and an over-sized coat that’s only over-sized because I’m too tall to shop in the kids’ department. Pants, especially, cause me a great deal of inner turmoil. To put it simply, I just don’t have flesh where pants makers expect people to. Once in a blue moon, I find some pants that “fit” (meaning, they reach my feet and they don’t fall down) and I hold on to those pants til they’re completely threadbare, even if it means they go out of style.

It was one of those mornings where I couldn’t even approach “content” with my pants selection. Every pair I owned was strewn across the bed and I was officially running late. I was supposed to be at the New Leaf Pastry Kitchen at 9:30 to meet Brandy and the kids. But no — there I was, putting on and peeling off pair after pair of jeans. Ugh. I finally chose the pair I felt the best in and headed out the door. I warned her via text that I was wearing my 1996 mom jeans. And that’s no joke: this pair of jeans was one I’d gotten ages ago, and their time had definitely come and gone. She replied, “F-R-I-E-N-D-S.” Ha!

And then I started reminiscing about that show. (What a lame title for such a clever show!) My favorite one is the Christmas-themed one where Ross dresses up as the Holiday Armadillo. Then I remembered that Friends even made fun of pants crises: the one where Ross wears leather pants and then gets stuck with them halfway down in the bathroom of his date’s apartment. We all learned a lesson that day: lotion + powder = paste. So I was grateful I was not in that predicament. Turns out Brandy was a little late, too, so we all arrived, and everyone was wearing pants, even if they were 1996 mom jeans.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen patioNew Leaf is located in the Hardesty Higgins House, in the area where Mrs. Hardesty’s Tearoom used to be. The cafe is bright and spacious with several tables and a self-serve coffee station. Enticing concoctions fill the display case, some delicate, some sturdy… all exceptionally beautiful, almost too pretty to eat. New Leaf offers celebration cakes (by special order), morning pastries, European pastries, “savories,” cookies, and breads. They also offer classes and workshops: coming up on February 13 is a class on making Passion Fruit Cream Puffs, from 6:30 – 8:30pm.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen displayAs hard as it was to choose, we all made our selections and sat down to dig in. Bree chose the Chocolate Bouchon, which is sort of like a brownie shaped like a tall muffin. Cal was very excited about his Chocolate Raspberry Macaroons.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen macaroons New Leaf Pastry Kitchen chocolate bouchonElla picked out a warm, tender Apple Strudel Tart served with vanilla ice cream… so silky and decadent!

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen apple strudelBlake ordered the Dark Chocolate Scone, and Brandy chose the Sweet Potato Biscuit with Polyface Sausage and Cheddar. I think I got the best deal by tasting a little bit of everyone’s food, and I can honestly say that I could eat that sweet potato-sausage-cheese number EVERY DAY.

New Leaf Pastry Kitchen sausage biscuit New Leaf Pastry Kitchen sconeWhen you take a look at the menu online, you’ll notice dozens of items listed. They rotate through menu items, balancing variety with fresh, seasonal ingredients. So when you go, you may or may not see any of the items we’ve mentioned here. But you’ll find something just as fabulous, and their system is a reason for you to return frequently!

The New Leaf Pastry Kitchen is located at 212 S. Main Street in the Hardesty Higgins House, diagonally across from the Yellow Button. You can try them out tomorrow! They open at 9 every day but Sunday. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

 

brewed awakening: l&s diner.

L&S diner signOn March 18 it was freezing and snowy. I was in clunky boots and a sweater and my old gray coat AGAIN. This day, a Monday, was a snow day, and snow days are really nice for teachers, yes, but our children are SICK OF US. They are bored and antsy and we are becoming less cool by the second. I couldn’t imagine that four days from then it would be nice enough to do yard work, and two days after that it would snow again, turning the piles of leaves I had raked (but not hauled away) into frozen leaf cakes. Where they still sit, thawed now, and wet.

We had to get out. It just so happened that I needed a new (new to me anyway) piece of furniture for my dining room, and it happened that we were also hungry and in serious need of coffee. So we headed to L&S Diner, which is just a few snowy steps from Hess Furniture (post coming!!).

L&S is a Harrisonburg favorite. The boxcar diner has been downtown for decades serving up breakfast necessities like eggs, biscuits and gravy, grits, omelets, pancakes and French toast (and for all you early risers, they open at 5:30 am during the week). For lunch they’ve got choices like sandwiches, pan-fried chicken, salads, oysters, and salt fish.

L&S diner coffeeWe found six stools in a row and climbed up. Cal had a little trouble getting perched up there, and I realized that low-rise jeans have made diner stools awkward.

L&S diner stoolsOur waitress poured steaming coffee in our cups and we started talking about summer. Dresses. Sandals. How good it feels to get in a hot car after you’ve been in the air conditioning all day. Pools. The river. Sitting on the deck with friends til midnight. The beach. How good it feels to shower off all that beach grime and then stuff yourself with lobster and shrimp. Meanwhile, our food sizzled on the flat-top grill and the kids wrote little notes to each other. It’s become a tradition of sorts… today the notes said, “I love your hair.” “I love your pancakes.” And this one:

L&S diner noteAs usual, we all shut up when the food came. We had French toast, pancakes, rye toast, and an egg/ham/cheese sandwich on white. All fresh and delicious. They’re no strangers to breakfast in there.

L&S diner collageThere’s a train track RIGHT behind the restaurant. A train went by and Bree asked, “Are we moving?” No, honey. We’re in a restaurant. She also had the sensation we were moving one day in the car wash. When the sprayer arm thing moved around the car, she suddenly yelled, “Mom! We’re moving backwards! Do something!” Sorta like when you stand on the beach and a wave crashes on your feet and washes back out… it feels like you’re rushing backwards… and there we are talking about summer again. Oh summer. We are soooo ready for you!

You can thaw out at L&S Diner at 255 North Liberty Street, about a block north of Hess Furniture and a block south of the Local Chop and Grill House. They’re open seven days a week.

L&S diner spoonCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.