Ellwood's Coffee, across the parking lot from Ellwood Thompson's Local Market, lives up to its billing as a "community place." During my two visits, I observed business meetings, old friends catching up, students with laptops, moms with kids and a variety of other folks just hanging out or grabbing a bite.
The fresh-tasting coffee is brewed using locally roasted, organic beans from Blanchard's Coffee Co. Ellwood's also has a Clover, a high-end coffee maker that brews just one cup at a time. My cup of coffee from the Clover was rich and smooth. The latte, too, was worthy of its $3.75 price.
After I visited, I learned that a revamped menu is scheduled to debut in this month, along with a name change to Ellwood's Café. According to barista and cook Darren MacMartin, the new menu will offer made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well as some entrées.
That's good, because the current menu could stand some tweaking. My banana-pecan muffin was moist, with big nut chunks, and my daughter deemed her chocolate croissant flaky and delicious. I liked both sandwiches that I sampled: the huevos rancheros wrap for breakfast and a croissant with smoked turkey (pictured), Brie and cranberry for lunch. The flavors were nicely balanced, and both were toasty on the outside, but some of the ingredients inside were still cold, which was disappointing.
Ellwood's Coffee also provides free wireless service and music in the evenings, including open-mic nights. This is definitely a place where you'll run into someone you know or make a new friend while you enjoy a fragrant cup of coffee.
10 S. Thompson St. 612-1827, ellwoodscoffee.com
Prices: Coffee and other drinks $1.59 to $4.99. Sandwiches and salads $6.99 to $9.99.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily