Kopplin's and the Nook: Two Brief Anti-Rants

People who care about coffee regularly refer to Kopplin's as the best in the Twin Cities. Personally, I tend to drink one of two coffees: Either Folgers Breakfast Blend, or the Newman's Own on offer at any local McDonald's. But my wife is a fan of making cappuccino with her Francis Francis machine, so I suggested that we go to Kopplin's for beans. We both like a smooth, light brew, so we tried a half pound of their El Salvador.

In a word: fantastic. A cappuccino made with this stuff is smooth and mellow, delicious without adding even a hint of sugar. My personal pet peeves in terms of expensive fancy-pants coffee is that so often its "complexity" seems limited to a jumble of harsh, acrid, scorched flavors that are apparently a little too real for a pansy palate such as mine. Kopplin's promised a light, elegant brew and it delivered. We will return for more of their goods.

Right next door to Kopplin's is the Nook, and its Jucy Nookie gravitational pull is powerful, indeed.

Arriving at the Nook, we were offered a beer list that included Angry Planet, made by Flat Earth Brewing. Have recently visited their brewery while working on a profile of Lift Bridge Brewery, I was intrigued.

Unfortunately, the beer was unavailable. Ah well. I went with a Bass, which went just fine with my Jucy. But halfway through the meal, the waiter returned to the table; they'd managed to scare up some Angry Planet after all. Unbidden, he'd brought me a small sample glass of the beer so that I could give it a try.

Holy moly. How completely... thoughtful. The beer was great, and the surprise of having it arrive tableside made the meal a real pleasure. That's the very definition of good service: Getting a sense of what would make a customer happy and (within reason), acting upon it.

Great coffee, local beer, tremendous burgers, all within a few feet of one another. Huzzah.