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October 25, 2012 / bikesbytesbites

Coffeeneuring Challenge #2

Recently, MG proposed the second annual Coffeeneuring Challenge. The rules are quite complex, but they boil down to: On each day of six weekends, ride your bike to a coffee place, have a coffee (or alternate beverage) and document the experience. We’re supposed to turn in the proofs to MG after all the weekends (and coffees) have been experienced.  But I should try to document them as they happen.  I’m already two weeks behind …

Saturday, October 6: Caribou Coffee, Crystal City (Arlington) VA

I volunteered to help out at the Arlington Fun Ride, sponsored by Arlington county, and which benefits Phoenix Bikes.  I was at the first rest stop (the Crystal City Water Park) around 7 AM, to help for the set up for the 8 AM ride start.  There was time before the riders got there for a trip to the nearby Caribou Coffee.

Caribou Coffee; Arlington Fun Ride

A coffee from Caribou, before the Arlington Fun Ride

Sunday, October 7: Buzz Bakery, Virginia Square (Arlington) VA

Buzz Bakery just opened a new branch in Virginia Square. I was familiar with them from their Alexandria location, which I visited as part of the Cheap Eats quest. Nice baked goods, great coffee, good atmosphere, sufficient bicycle parking.  I got a frequent drinkers card, so I’ll have to make this place one of my locals.

Buzz Bakery, Virgina Square

Coffee and Brioche – Buzz Bakery

Monday, October 8: Espresso Bar, Pentagon City (Arlington) VA

This was Columbus Day (Observed), so it counts as part of the weekend. I rode down to Pentagon City, parked my bike in the new! covered! bicycle parking and took metro into town to meet a friend and see an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art: The Serial Portrait: Photography and Identity in the Last One Hundred Years   Great stuff. Some of it was familiar to me. But I especially liked a new (to me) photographer, Nikki Lee — her photos kind of reminded me of Cindy Sherman. After dinner, I got back on metro and did some shopping in Pentagon City.  With the Coffeeneuring Challenge, I finally had an excuse to get a coffee at the place that is in the mall, just outside the first-floor entrance to Nordstroms.  Meh.  Mediocre, overpriced coffee.

Pentagon City - Parking and Coffee

Pentagon City – Parking and Coffee

Saturday, October 13: Java Coast, National Harbor (Oxon Hill) MD

The following day I was scheduled to volunteer as a riding marshal at the Law Enforcement Ride & Run to RememberThe ride started at National Harbor at 7:15 AM, and volunteers were supposed to be there at 6:30.  I didn’t feel like getting up at zero-dark-thirty to ride there, or slightly later to (the horror! the horror!) drive there. So, I bicycled to National Harbor the day before and used some of my frequent sleeper points to book a room at the Marriott. I checked in, went for a run, cleaned up, then went for a walk to the Gaylord Hotel/Conference Center, where I visited Java Coast.  Sigh.  It kind of reminded me of the Espresso Bar in Pentagon City — overpriced, not-great coffee.

Java Coast, National Harbor

Java Coast, in the Gaylor Hotel/Conference Center, National Harbor

Sunday, October 14: St Elmo’s Pub, Del Ray (Alexandria) VA

Riding home from the Ride & Run to Remember I stopped at St Elmo’s.  They have great bike parking, excellent outdoor tables, good coffee, and friendly but somewhat disorganized service.

St Elmo's, Del Ray (Alexandria)

The scarecrow stole my coffee — at St Elmo’s Pub in Del Ray

Saturday, October 20: Coffee Bar in the Lobby of the AFI Theatre, Silver Spring MD

Starting October 20, the AFI Theatre is hosting the DC Film Noir Festival.  I am a big fan of film noir, and have had the opportunity (when in San Francisco on business trips) to attend the Film Noir Festival at the Castro theatre, which is an incredible event.  The DC/MD Festival is much more low key, but it’s still an opportunity to see films that don’t show up on TV, or DVD, or Netflix, or to re-see classics I have seen a gazillion times on TV but never on a movie screen. I got there in time to get a so-so coffee in the lobby coffee bar.

AFI Theatre, Lobby Coffee Bar

AFI Theatre, Silver Spring, Lobby Coffee Bar

Sunday, October 21: Kefa Coffee, Silver Spring MD

On Sunday, it was back to Silver Spring for more noir films. Silver Spring has lots of Ethiopian restaurants, so it was easy to find one serving Ethiopian coffee close to the theater.  Nice neighborhood vibe, good coffee.

Kefa Cafe, Silver Spring

Kefa Cafe — Home of Ethiopian Coffee

Tuesday, October 23: Blue Moon Cafe, Fort Lauderdale FL

Ok, I know this one doesn’t count, since it wasn’t a weekend.  But the setting — along the Intracoastal Waterway, in Fort Lauderdale — was too good to pass up.  And the espresso was a great end to a nice meal.  (The fixed gear bicycle, which lives in Florida, was locked to a No Parking sign out front.)

Blue Moon Cafe, Fort Lauderdale

Coffee on the Intracoastal — Blue Moon Cafe, Fort Lauderdale

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