Saturday, October 2, 2010

Local Best: the Coffee Travesty

So, I realize that I've been holding out on you guys. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was looking for the best coffee shop in Sioux Falls--and I believe I have found it.

Coffea Roasterie - Staffed with a collection of passionate baristas, Coffea is part of this back-to-basics trend in coffee, that's just as concerned with producing a high quality cup of coffee as it is with making beautiful latte art. And their latte art is pretty darn good.

Get a large latte to go through their drive thru, or come in and select from an array of drinks and brewing methods ( I think they have five or so, from French press to Chemex.). They roast their own beans in house, and even have one roast Ethiopia Nekisse, that earned them a 96 rating on

The environment at Coffea is perfect as well: The business shares a common seating space with the Little Cellar Wine Company next door (selling, of course, wines), so you can meet someone for coffee...AND wine. I love the meeting of my two favorite beverages in one--it reminds me of Barriques in Madison.

But now, on to the part about the travesty. Like many cities, Sioux Falls has a yearly contest in which residents vote on their favorite businesses in Sioux Falls, from hair salons to Chinese restaurants. Here, its called the Local Best.

After visiting Coffea, and discovering its wonder, I of course wondered how it rated on the Local Best. Drinking a caffeinated circle around this city, I expected it to be rated fairly highly---nothing else really seemed close. And it WAS in the top five...but what it was behind made me sad: The list.

STARBUCKS is #1? REALLY? Look, nothing against Starbucks, because I definitely appreciate its presence in airports and would even acknowledge that it deserves to be on this list somewhere in Sioux Falls, but #1? Saying that Starbucks is your favorite coffee is like saying that McDonald's makes your favorite burger. It might be true, but its also sort of sad.

Looking at more categories on the list makes me even sadder for the people of this city, because it reads like pin-the-tail-on-the-chain-store.

Best Pizza...Papa Murphy's

Best Steak...Texas Roadhouse

Best Chinese (saddest of all)...Hy-Vee. Its not even a restaurant, its a grocery store cafeteria.

But then, it isn't  like I've had very good luck with local restaurants --- comparatively, a reliable chain begins to sound appetizing.

Not that I'm giving up. I've got a birthday coming up, and damn it, I'm going to find a restaurant worth going to, or get food poisoning in the process! Wish me luck.

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