Coffee Shop Hop — Sunday Review Series #4

Having recently moved back to Fayetteville, I had no idea where to get the best cup ‘o joe. I had in my mind a quaint and quirky joint with just the right amount of espresso flavored air, indie art, and cushy chairs to sit in while enjoying a cup of coffee and some local flair. For me, where I consume my coffee goes hand-in-hand with where I do my reading and writing. And so, my hunt ensued.

My fourth stop?

Common Grounds

RaeleighReads rating 3.5 out of 5 coffee cups

I’ve known about Common Grounds for a long time, but today was only my second time to visit. It is most definitely a piece of Fayetteville’s Dickson Street history. More of a restaurant than a coffee shop per se, it’s moody, dark, and a little grungy. Take a look for yourself and see what I mean.

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Initial impressions:

  • This place has a unique odor — sort of old and musty, with a hint of sharpness. It’s not very pleasant.
  • The staff is incredibly friendly. I was greeted as soon as I walked in and I got to choose where I wanted to sit.
  • There is ample seating and the menu is HUGE — it’s a binder for crying out loud!
  • They have an endless coffee bar option, squee! I tried:
    • Kenya Grand Cru — a medium body coffee with a very light, smooth taste and zero bitterness.
    • French Vanilla — smells heavenly and sweet, tastes really mild, almost watery.
    • House Blend — bingo! a wonderful, full, dark flavor and no bitterness. I wanted to gobble down three or four cups of this.

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  • Okay…this place has alcohol. They open at 7am and stay open until 2am…every. day. *Does a happy dance.* You can get a Bloody Mary, a Mimosa, an Irish Coffee. At 7am! *Does the happy dance again.*
  • Food = yummy in my tummy! I took two people with me today. For their company obviously. And to taste their food *ahem*. We tried:
    • Parmesan and spinach scrambled eggs and uncommon potatoes — eggs were pretty blah, but those potatoes! Ohmigosh these things are the best thing to ever happen to potatoes. Ever. Rosemary, a little garlic, the perfect amount of crispy outside and squishy inside. Yum, yum, yum! Also, this dish looked really pretty.
    • Three Little Piggies — ham, bacon, and sausage with smoked cheese on an everything bagel and uncommon potatoes on the side. Another pretty plate. None of this is healthy, I realize that. But all of it is amazingly tasty! Smoking the cheese really pulls this breakfast sandwich together.
    • Breakfast casserole — eggs, sausage, spinach, onions, and mushrooms all served in a casserole log with fresh fruit on the side. This was the least appetizing breakfast plate I think I’ve ever seen. The log was gray and mushy looking, but I took a bite anyway, and then another bite, and then another bite, and then…well, you get the idea. The fruit (watermelon, honeydew, and pineapple) was a perfect pairing with this and tasted wonderfully fresh and ripe.

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Now then, you may be wondering why I’ve all the sudden started to review food. Well, Common Grounds is technically a coffee shop, and it could technically be a place where I set up to do my writing. But it’s also technically a restaurant. So, ya know, when in Rome.

You may also be wondering why the 3.5 coffee cups after a glowing review of the endless coffee bar and that orgasmic food. Well, here’s my big problem with Common Grounds. While they have a lot of tables (and coffee) and a lovely bar at the front with pub stools and outlets every couple of feet (and coffee), I could tell almost immediately that I did not want to write in this place. The back room is quieter, and that is where I sat this morning to take my notes and stuff my face with that nom nom breakfast food (and coffee), but between the general clamor of talking guests and the air conditioner, the slightly stinky smell, and the overall grunge that has accumulated through the years, I don’t think this is my place.

Full of funky Fayetteville flavor? Yes. Delicious food and coffee? Yes. My new writing destination? No, but I will absolutely be making this my new breakfast place. That food you guys! I’m still thinking about it.