Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Tucked away in a little alley off the bustling Walnut Ave, it provides some relief from the ostentatious shops and high-end restaurants by Rittenhouse Square. Somehow, people find their way to this low-key, safe haven of a café. And all sorts of people for that matter – business people, students, teachers, bike-riders, street-performers, etc. Just for a warm cup of coffee.
When I first arrived, I oafed around with my grocery bags, trying to find an espresso menu. The barista shot me a quizzical look, so I went for the safest choice – the latte. As the barista prepared my latte, I asked what other drinks they have on the menu, and he said I could pretty much ask for anything. A cappuccino? Yes. A flat white? Yes. Score!
We have a simple vanilla syrup but no other flavorings. Here, we believe coffee should be served in its purest form. Perfect, just the way I like my coffee, and all my other drinks for that matter. Perhaps it’s this philosophy of wholeness and purity that draws people in through Elixir’s doors.
If there is one school I would like to go to after medical school, it would be barista school in Italy. Maybe I’m partial after watching Coffee Prince back in the day, or maybe I’m partial because I have that “Euro-philism” that a lot of young, non-Europeans have… but I just love the idea of immersing oneself into a specialized food art form at its roots. And although the first coffee pioneers were Ethiopian and Arabic, it was the European countries that invented most of the espresso drinks we enjoy today.
Anyways, Elixir’s latte is truly amazing. It takes all the best parts of coffee and mixes it with all the best parts of milk. The coffee is rich and aromatic, full of a coffee bean’s intrinsic flavor. I watched the barista steam whole milk and delicately lace in the coffee. The taste is earthy, yet light – like the autumn’s sun dappling on newly fallen foliage. So fresh and pure that I could feel the warmth of the coffee bean embrace me with every sip.
I was also very tempted by this Blueberry Scone. I resisted the temptation all morning walking through Reading Terminal, but my willpower caved at Elixir’s glass display. I have a soft spot for scones in general, blueberry ones in particular. This was a solid scone, with a tough armor sweetened by powdered sugar, hiding buttery, fluffy innards. As a girl who makes some pretty delicious scones from scratch, (more scone adventures here) I give this scone my stamp of approval. I didn’t care much for the powdered sugar, but the blueberries and butter ratio produced a delightful treat!
Elixir, you have stolen my heart along with the rest of your crew. I hope to be back for pure coffee, solid snacks, and real conversation~