On the Menu...

Strawberry-Rhubarb Lemonade
featuring fresh squeezed lemonade and local farmers market rhubarb


Help Us Help You

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Hello, Friends. We are going to ask that you do us a favor. If you would, please picture this:

Freshly brewed french press coffee, delivered by bike, to your front porch on a summer morning.

It doesn't have to be a fantasy folks. This can all begin in a matter of weeks. Just take the time and click:

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

While fresh roasted Courier Coffee has always been available for delivery to your doorstep, we have developed dreams of taking this notion to the next level. So how did this dream begin? Well, our good friend Lynn of Satsuma Press was kind enough to tip us off to a contest that Madsen Cycles is currently running. Here's the lowdown:

On July 15th Madsen Cycles will be giving away TWO cargo bikes to whomever can send the most e-traffic to their website (that's the contest in a nutshell, but click the button below to get the full details).

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

It didn't take long for us to figure out how we could put these awesome cargo bikes to good use. They are available in two models: rack or bucket. Naturally, Ali and I differ on which we want. I'm picturing myself with the rack style, preferably in black:

I'm a fan of the oversized steel tubing with the 12 threaded brazons for accessory attachment. And at 7.5'' x 36'', I'll have plenty of room to load up goods. Ali's got a crush on the bucket style, and bats her lashes at both the cream and baby blue colors equally:

I gotta admit, the bucket is cool. It's basically a 40 gallon, LLDPE rigid plastic cargo carrier that features a rear removable bench seat and two seat belts (perfect for two pugs, a bunch flowers, a bushel of radishes, and a couple of airpots).

Both models sport OST hi-ten steel step-through frames, SRAM X5 8-speed derailleurs, SRAM X5 trigger shifters, and Promax 160mm disk brakes. What's also great is that both frames are adjustable for a variety of body types including 5'- 6'6'' builds, which is perfect given the 7" difference between Ali and myself. This way we'd be able to switch bikes when necessary. Of course Madsen also makes a bunch of handy, crafty accessories available to customize and pimp your ride.

Can't you just picture Ali with this bike? (For the sake of dreaming, Ali is pushing for a red one of course, though it would have to be made custom by Madsen, as they are only available in black, cream, or blue.)

And me with the other?

The possibilities are endless really; coffee delivery, farmers market runs, ice cream promotions, pug schleping, etc. Just thinking about it gets us all hot and bothered (in a really good way!).

So help the LRBC grow this year with the addition of a new cargo bike. Especially those of you in North Portland, keep in mind that if you help a cafe out, we can certainly return the favor with the promise of homemade, freshly brewed, artisan goods delivered to your door. (How cool is that?!?) And heck, for those of you NOT in North Portland, whom are unable to benefit from us inheriting one or two new stylish, refined, utilitarian, commuter cargo bikes, well, we say click over to their site anyways, and tell your friends to do the same, and perhaps we can both win cargo bikes to start our own fleets.

Think about it:

Dream it:

Do it:

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Just Born

syphon brewing at the <span class=

this picture was stolen from CCR's blog without permission

So excited to announce that Courier Coffee Roasters has a new blog. Though this isn't technically their first blog, it is the first that will be available for regular Internet viewing.

Three cheers for Joel, Matt, and Alex (not pictured...yet)!


Sunday Brunch Update

Quite possibly the best thing that's happened to the LRBC:
the 1/2 order order of buttermilk biscuits with rosemary-mushroom gravy

Deemed the best afternoon snack to date.


Ladies' Bruncheon

We have a catering gig scheduled tomorrow morning for a Ladies' Brunch. On the menu?

Pastry Basket
with cinnamon rolls, sticky pecan buns, mini sweet and savory muffins

Spring Quiche
with goat cheese, asparagus, and spring squash

Ham and Cheese Quiche
with frizzled leeks

Arugula Salad
with lemon, candied hazelnuts, and shaved pecorino

Apple Cider Champagne Sorbet

Tea, anyone?


On the Menu...

The proof is in the pudding as they say:

Artisan bread soaking in bourbon butter


Caramelized bananas cooked in bourbon butter


Scharffen Berger Semi-Sweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate

-mixed and baked-


Southern Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding
served warm with with Bourbon Butter Sauce

LRBC Little Known Fact #418

We heard that over 15 million Americans will be planting their first gardens this year. One such American is our friend and yours, Kyle "Hustle" Simmons:

Here's a little about Kyle: He is a 21 year old artist, dj, student, and kind soul. He lives with his two best friends in a modest rental home in North Portland. When he is not on skateboard, he is on bike. Kyle pays his bills, and his way through school with help from working part-time at the Little Red Bike Cafe.

Yes, America. This is the profile of someone who is planting a garden right now.

Not what you imagined? Well, we got a chance to come over and visit the new garden and let me tell you, we walked away feeling very proud to know this man and his roommates, and very inspired to become more active in our own beds. Surely one of the greatest side effects of this recession has been the return to, and support of a localized economy. We, the little guys, are surviving (even thriving) and we are the ones who help support lots of other little guys (like farmers and other small, like-minded, inspiring local businesses), and together with your support, we are all "bringing it back home," as we like to say around here. It's amazing to be a part of this movement. We can feel the energy in the air. We can hear you, see you, and smell you, Portland: Chatting it up with your chickens, swapping seasonal recipes with your neighbor, asking Bobby at your local hardware store what an "s-hook" is, combing through the piles of produce at the Farmers Market, fighting your seasonal allergies by dusting off your bikes, banging at your keyboards in order to Google "CSA", and reconnecting with the simplest of elements around you, discovering that they in fact give you the greatest of pleasures.

Wow. What can I say? It feels good to be alive, here. Home. Portland, Oregon, USA.

I think there's lots of reasons why people are so in love with us and this city. It's not just about the Pearl, Stumptown, and our ever sleek, eco-friendly, fabulously mod(ern) design. We've created a lot more hum and buzz around here just being us. You know, the people collecting eggs from our backyards, insistently getting dirt underneath our fingernails, eating wood fire pizza in a city park, leading a bike revolution, picking our own pie and jam berries, dive-bombing trails in the largest forested natural area within city limits in the United States.

That's why people around the country love us. We're creating the future model for an über-localized economic web. And what can we say? It just seems to come so naturally to us. Not to say that there's not work to be done here. There is always work to be done when it comes to something worth fighting for. And we love this city (I think we all do) and I think we can all agree that it's worth fighting for. That said, we have much to be proud about and reason to feel good about living here right now. We are so much more than a bunch of Alphabetized street names, nonsense political gossip, and coffee-worshipping freaks.

Please note, I say that and I own a coffee shop.

I say that because I just ate a farm fresh egg omelet and almost died because it was that good (we hand-picked the eggs). I can say that because I just did a week's worth of spring cleaning in one day and donated nearly everything to some of the best places and causes out there. I say that because we just wrote our hundredth-something check this morning to another local vendor superhero.

While sometimes it's fun and easy to get caught up in the bright lights, I think the thing that grounds Portland is that we are people that know in the end, it's what you do at home that counts the most.


4/17 Sunday Brunch

Honey Yogurt Bowl—7.00
Nancy’s Honey Yogurt with house granola, fresh fruit, cinnamon, & honey drizzle

Chilled Green Garlic and Sweet Pea Soup—7.00
with minted crème fraîche, and buttermilk biscuit

Elvis’ French Toast—10.00
challah French toast with Carlton bacon, caramelized bananas, peanut butter, and real maple syrup

Buttermilk Biscuits and Rosemary Mushroom Gravy—7.00
Half portion…5 Sonny’s Special: full order, side of bacon, and large Orange Juice…13.00

Wild Lox Omelet—11.00
with bacon, red onion, goat cheese, and avocado, topped with crushed hazelnuts and pesto-verde,
served on a bed of greens

Oregon Tuna Melt—9.00
wild Oregon albacore tuna, lemon-herb mayo, cheddar, green onions, and farmhouse relish on Italian
como bread, served with mixed spring salad and dill pickle
‘surf ‘n turf’ (add bacon)…1.50

Spring [Fried] Egg Sandwich—9.50
two eggs, Carlton bacon, braised spring greens, asparagus, and dill hollandaise on ciabatta, served with
tossed arugula salad

Griddled Polenta with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote—8.00
with cinnamon, dried fruit, toasted almonds, and real maple syrup
(egg and dairy free)

smoked tempeh strips, arugula, tomato, vegan dill aioli, and avocado on toasted ciabatta, served
with mixed spring salad a dill pickle

Croque Madame—8.50
toasted ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg and house mornay sauce, served with tossed
arugula salad and a dill pickle

Also on the docket: Blackberry Lavender Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Believe it or not, the store was out of lemons!!! Hence, no fresh squeezed lemonade (or Arnold Palmers) tomorrow, but I will tell you that Evan is brewing 3 lbs. of Organic Bolivia Cenaproc Cooperative beans for toddy. We'll have iced coffee coming out our ears. Get it while it's...cold. And delicious. And exactly what the doctor ordered on an 87 degree day.

A Follow Up:

Remember when Evan said, "I hope somebody buys this pie."?

Well? Did anybody buy a piece?

I'm happy to report that yes indeed, five people bought a slice of our Strawberry Rhubarb Pie today, which we served with almond whipped cream. While we were hoping to sell the entire pie today, I have a suspicion that the pie had some competition and I'm pointing my finger towards this guy as the culprit:

Slow-Baked Banana Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm not lying when I say this is the best cake I've ever eaten. I've eaten this cake (a few too many times) for my breakfast and regretfully have not gotten sick of it. Thankfully it's not just one of those frilly things that looks pretty. The inside does the outside justice. And even more exciting is the fact that you all like it so much too.


"I Hope Somebody Buys This Pie."

Those are the parting words Evan has left me with as he closes the back gate shut and escorts Zeus on his nightly patrol of the neighborhood. The reason why Evan is saying this is because after my early evening debate on whether to make strawberry rhubarb pie or strawberry rhubarb lemonade with the rhubarb we got from the Eastbank Farmers Market, I picked pie. Which meant I needed a crust. And oh, did I mention, I don't do crust? You see, remember that analogy I made a couple of posts back saying if the perfect marriage were a pot pie then Evan would be the crust and I'd be the filling? Yeah well, I think what I meant to say was that the perfect marriage is like pie, not pot pie, because that's what me and my husband spent all evening doing: preparing a pie for tomorrow's service. I can make a mean filling but I lack the crimping and butter cutting skills necessary to bang out a flaky pie dough worthy of such a delicious filling. So what does one do in this situation? She goes to her husband, who crimps beautifully and thinks of butter as a close family relative. Evan and I get along beautifully in the kitchen; so long as as we're actually not running a service. Then? Well, that's when we have to be separate; sometimes a little separation is good, indeed necessary.

There is something extremely rewarding about preparing goods straight from the market. It's utterly inspiring to take something home and be forced to, excuse me, allow me to rephrase that, have the pleasure to actually ask yourself, "What do I want to eat tonight?" I especially like taking home things I'm not particularly familiar with so that I can experiment. It's a great way to refresh and bewilder your taste buds. Unfamiliar with what your local farmers market has to offer? Here's a peek:

Coming your way tomorrow, fresh from the farmers market and our kitchen:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
with almonds and whipped cream


Compliments to the Chef

After doing a brief search on the internet to refresh my frozen yogurt knowledge, I was astounded to see how much controversy there is surrounding "fro-yo." Creamy vs. Icy, Sweet vs. Tangy, Pinkberry vs. TCBY (if you will.) While I'm not about to get in to that debate, here's what I can, and will tell you:

Frozen yogurt makes us very happy. We get giddy at just the idea of it. Here's what we expect out of a frozen yogurt experience: tart, cold, pure, clean, refreshing goodness...in a cup. And hell, if it comes in a biodegradable cup with a compostable spoon, well, that's even better. That's why we can't think of a better way to finish a walk around the beautiful hills of Northwest Portland, than with a cup of frozen yogurt from Bleuet, a "boutique yogurt" shop located on NW 23rd Avenue. We like Bleuet's all natural style. Yogurt remains undyed, low in sugar, and claims to be made with a family recipe. What's not to love? Oh, well, did I mention that it's non-fat? (Every creation has its internal flaws.) But really, in all honesty, from their environmentally friendly standards, and their yogurt that actually tastes like yogurt (i.e. sour, tart, tang with a hint of creamy sweetness), Bleuet has a lot going for it as far as we're concerned. According to what I read on the internet, it appears that when it comes to frozen yogurt, to each his own. That said, Bleuet has struck a cord in our hearts.

Evan grew up in Northwest Portland, and as I've mentioned before, was the first person to introduce me to Portland's outdoor destination gem: Forest Park. Growing up we spent many a-teenage years partying in, near, and around those hills, and hardly ever appreciated the beauty of our surroundings. These days, I relish in the opportunity to walk these streets, weaving my way through the Alphabet District, up to Evan's elementary school in Wallace Park, and down to the cobble streets in the Pearl. I like to bring my camera, snapping away at whatever inspires me, be it a glowing grass garden, a friendship offer on a community board, relic bricks on an apartment building, or the stone steps on a beautifully crafted home. After one such tour of the hills recently, I met up with Evan and we chatted inside Bleuet's shop, reconnecting over yogurt. Needless to say: Perfect.

Evan's a traditionalist and prefers things like tangy plain yogurt with dark chocolate chips:

I like variety and usually pick a fruit flavor with something crunchy, like Blueberry Cheesecake with Coconut-Almond Granola:

Suffice to say the interior of this location can feel a little cold at times, especially in the darker, winter months, but that hardly matters when the goods are just that. We've never left disappointed, and on days like the one described above, when the sunshine was streaming through the shop's large front windows, and wrapping across my husband's head, I swore I was experiencing a little piece of heaven.

1019 NW 23rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 295-5981
Mon-Thu. 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m



Asparagus Quiche. We tried this once, and burned it because our oven at the cafe runs 50 degrees hot, and we often forget that turning off the timer usually indicates the appropriate time to remove items from the oven; that the buzzer is not just a sound device signaling the need to be turned off. We get so carried away in what other things we are attending to in the kitchen, that oftentimes the oven timer just gets turned off, not actually checked, resulting in burnt granola, muffins, banana bread, and one fateful time, a beautiful asparagus quiche. We sort of vowed at that moment that never again would we waste such a precious amount of asparagus at the hands of laziness and non-present-ness. Baking is very zen, it takes concentration. Mindfulness, as they say.

We have been waiting for the appropriate time to attempt an asparagus rematch with our oven. Tonight I was informed that the time has come. Evan is planning on spending tomorrow morning resurrecting our failed asparagus quiche. He is planning on an all butter crust. Chilled. Farmers market asparagus. Eggs whipped with goat cheese. You get the picture.

Will he find success? I hope so. After a somewhat bummer day in the baking department (an entire cherry pie splattered on the floor), Evan could use a boost. I for one, have very few doubts that he will be able to turn his luck around. This man whipped up some buttermilk biscuits last night and delivered them, along with some homemade jam, to our neighbors, whose dog was feeling under the weather, and whom have fed us on numerous occasions during the hardest of times.

Upon returning from his delivery, he kindly shaped and baked off the leftover scraps for me, surprising me, by waking me up from my early evening nap with fresh biscuits, hot outta the oven. I swear it was the smell of pure love baking that (a)roused me from my sleep. Wow, those biscuits were... well, I'm not sure how to put this. Things are getting pretty hot over here. Let me tell you; Evan's quest for biscuit glory is nearing a climax. He is getting very good at honing his craft and he has made his wifey very proud. Together I feel our skills in the kitchen department are total compliments. I am the cook, and he is the baker. If the perfect marriage were a pot pie, which in our case that would be a perfectly apt description, Evan would be the crust, and I would be the filling. The two mingle and make goodness, if you know what I mean.

While the cafe still remains on the quest for a skilled baker to take Evan's place, he remains in the meantime, our full-time baker, waking up at 5am, and whipping up the cafe's pastry case every morning daily, including:

French Puffs
buttermilk muffins hand-rolled in cinnamon and sugar

New Mexico Muffins
mini bacon, corn, cheddar, and green chile muffins

Monkey Muffins
vegan banana bread muffins with chocolate chips, coconut, and espresso glaze

Homemade Biscuits
baker's whim

Savory Stratas
items vary depending on seasons and the kitchen

Homemade Pie
items vary depending on seasons and the kitchen

Don't forget to ask about our house jams and granola available for sale. That's where you can get your hands on some apple butter, the same stuff we use here on that award winning fried egg sandwich. Shucks, we'll even tell you how to make The Messenger at home. Or, I guess you could always watch it here if you wanted to:

Fried egg sandwich

We're the Kind of People...

that are willing to risk our lives by jerking a steering wheel sharply to the right, and veer off the highway when we see a sign like this on the side of the road:

After a culinary expedition down at the coast, our trip home was made even better when we spotted a morel vendor selling freshly picked wild coastal mushrooms. We happily gathered what cash we could, including the change from the van's ashtray, and filled our brown paper bag with the measured, treasured fungus.

Ironically, these particular morels, or at least the ones sold in this location about eight years ago, were the first morels Evan ever tried in his life. Like many, he grew up with a fear (really an ignorance) of just how marvelous mushrooms, more specifically, wild mushrooms are. Fortunately, Evan was given the best cooking advice by being told, "Keep it simple. Olive oil or butter, salt and pepper. That's all you need."

These days, we've been known to mix it up a bit, putting these babies on top of pizza, in a risotto, and/or pairing with spring asparagus. But in the end, the most important aspect of enjoying mushrooms is to allow the fungus to keep its integrity intact. What does that mean? Clean properly, don't overcook, don't over-season, and whatever you do, allow their natural flavor to shine through as much as possible. Follow this mantra: Mushrooms are not mushy. If you follow these simple rules, you will find that mushrooms can enhance nearly any dish, especially when handled properly. If you've had your doubts in the past, give 'em a second shot. Pretty soon you'll find that even your mushroom-hating cousin will be touting the marvels of these miraculous dirty caps that grow from the ground.


Whiskey Hangover

its days like this morning, waking up after a long night and seeing pictures like this one, that make me wish the LRBC were open on Mondays

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I do want to point out once again that service at the cafe has undergone a few changes recently. Tuesday through Saturday one can expect to find all of their favorite fried egg sandwiches, as well as a few new items, while every Sunday, we will try to "bring it" with a special brunch menu inspired by traditional favorites.

As for the "a few new items," without divulging exactly what those are (hey, we've got to leave you with some kind of hook in effort to get your ass in the door), I do want to highlight one addition that has quickly climbed to the top of my list of favorites. Meet the Wild Lox Plate:

Wild Lox Plate
toasted boiled bagel, wild smoked salmon served over a bed of arugula, with avocado, cream cheese, red onion, tomato, cucumber, fresh dill, and capers

What else can you ask for on a bagel and lox plate? No really, we're asking: what else could one want on a plate like this? That means you. Please comment with your suggestions.


Blue Moon of Kentucky

On our walk home from the cafe yesterday I told Evan that my drink of choice at the end of Sunday (the beginning of our "weekend") would depended on how the Brunch service went.

"If everything goes smoothly, and if the menu goes over well, then I'm going to treat myself to an extra large glass of a nicer-than-usual red. But if things do not go smoothly, and I feel like I've been hit by a semi, then I'm going to have an extra large glass of whiskey on the rocks."

We both felt like there was a lot riding on today's service. The time putting together the menu, and the work put in to making it happen, coupled with the hope that it would be well received (in light that there was only one fried-egg sandwich on the entire thing! Gasp!), made both of us a little anxious. Neither of us slept well Thursday, Friday, or last night, our dreams even ridden with all the "what ifs." Even once I awoke, I realized I'd been experiencing butterflies in my stomach throughout the night and into my waking state. Ugh. I tried to keep telling myself, "It's just one service. You just gotta get through this one service."

So how did it go?

Well, we served up a lot of this today:

Buttermilk Biscuits and Rosemary Mushroom Gravy

And a lot of these:

Wild Lox Omelet
with bacon, red onion, goat cheese, and avocado, topped with crushed hazelnuts and pesto-verde, served on a bed of greens

We served so much in fact that we ran out of food 3.5 hours into service. We should have seen it coming; it was the brewing of a perfect storm. Mother's Day, our first Sunday open (which have always been our busiest day of the week), and the crazy, and I mean crazy amount of loving supporters who have poured through our doors since we first reopened them. Really, Folks. We could not feel more blessed!

But there is another side to this story, the side that breaks my heart and left me teary-eyed in the dish-pit this afternoon, and that is in regards to the fact that we had to turn many of you away today. We also ran out of items that were printed on the menu and were forced to substitute, and for this I apologize. WE ALL APOLOGIZE. We simply had no idea how this new menu was going to run given all of the various factors surrounding it, and we owe those of you an apology that left our place disappointed. When we had to call service at 12:30, I couldn't help but look at Evan, and upon our eyes connecting, we both looked down and shook our heads. How could we not see this coming? It was disappointing to say the least, both of us lacking the verbage to express our feelings of frustration and defeat.

Definitely a Kentucky bourbon night.

Despite the negatives, we feel this experience has only greased our wheel, and that we have a much better understanding of not only what kind of turn-out we can expect for a Brunch service, but also which items people are jonesing for. Um, can you say Biscuits and Gravy? What about French Toast? So yes, Portland. Thank you. We adore you for your patience, your kind words, your courtesy, your humor (Thank you to all the people who made an effort to make me laugh this afternoon. I needed that.), and your hungry-hungry hippo appetites. We would be nowhere indeed, if we did not live here, and have all of you nice people to call our friends. Thanks for that.

Letter to Mama

As a wise, wise man once said, "You are appreciated."

Happy Mother's Day, Moo. None of this would be possible without you.



Introducing: Sunday Brunch

Honey Yogurt Bowl—7.00
Nancy’s Honey Yogurt with house granola, fresh fruit, cinnamon, & honey drizzle

Sweet Pea Soup—7.00
with fresh mint, crème fraîche, and buttermilk biscuit

Stuffed Strawberry-Rhubarb Challah French Toast—9.50
thick pieces of challah stuffed with strawberry mascarpone, served with local strawberry-rhubarb compote

Buttermilk Biscuits and Rosemary Mushroom Gravy—7.00
Half portion…5
Sonny’s Special: full order, side of bacon, and large Orange Juice…13.00

Wild Lox Omelet—11.00
with bacon, red onion, goat cheese, and avocado, topped with crushed hazelnuts and pesto-verde, served on a bed of greens

Oregon Tuna Melt—9.00
wild Oregon albacore tuna, lemon-herb mayo, cheddar, green onions, and farmhouse relish on Italian como bread, served with red potato salad
‘surf ‘n turf’ (add bacon)…1.50

Spring Fried Egg Sandwich—9.50
two eggs, roasted asparagus, Carlton bacon, braised spring greens, and dill hollandaise on ciabatta, served with tossed arugula salad

Griddled Cinnamon-Raisin Polenta—8.00
egg and dairy free, served with peanut butter, fresh berries, and pure maple syrup

smoked tempeh strips, arugula, tomato, vegan dill aioli, and avocado on toasted ciabatta, served
with red potato salad and a dill pickle

Croque Madame—8.50
toasted ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg and house mornay sauce, served with tossed
arugula salad and a dill pickle

Remember Folks, the cafe opens at 9:00am tomorrow.


Leeks, Potatoes, and Onions, Oh My!

Earlier this afternoon we visited the Eastbank's first Portland Farmers Market of the season. Ooo-eee, Brothers and Sisters, there is nothing quite like the feeling of the market. This is the way our ancestors shopped. No doubt for thousands of years human beings have been congregating at public markets in search of the best and brightest of what's fresh and in season. I truly believe that it is something that has been encoded into our DNA. For Ali and myself, two people who popped their entrepreneurial cherry at the farmers market, the experience never fails to trigger a sense of nostalgia and a general feeling that life is good, and that we're on the right path.

This afternoon's trip proved inspirational to say the least. By the time we were ready to pack up and return to North Portland, our haul had amassed to three pounds of rhubarb, two pounds of braised greens, six bunch of asparagus, eight pounds of wild salmon (destined to become house cured gravlax), and one bunch of green garlic. The cafe fridge is currently full of fresh local vegetables for the first time in what feels like forever. CAN'T. WAIT. FOR. SUNDAY.

Which brings me to an important news bulletin: as Ali slyly mentioned in a previous post, upon reopening we have tweaked services at the cafe. This is partially due to recent financial hardships resulting from loss of business ( aka "the flood"), though our impending dinner service is also bating us to try to make life easier for ourselves. More important however, and the reason of my current ramblings, is that we are planning a test run for what we are calling "Sunday Brunch" service. "What is Sunday Brunch?" you ask. Well, my best answer is that we are going to try to prepare a less-egg-sandwich-heavy menu that will feature various brunchy items that we don't normally serve during the rest of the week. Think: biscuits and gravy, French toast, omelets, croque madame, tuna melts, and an egg sandwich...did you catch that last part? That's right, it was not a typo. I purposely typed AN egg sandwich. Yes, there will be one and only one egg sandwich on the Sunday Brunch menu.

Read carefully folks, here is the important part:

Tuesday through Saturday we will continue to run a concise menu highlighted by our popular egg sandwiches, living up to our name as a "Coffee and Egg Sandwich House." However, come Sunday we're planning on giving the 'ole fry-pans a breather. A day of rest if you will. So be sure to get your Messenger, Zoobomb, Flat Tire, Alleycat, and Paperboy fix out of your system earlier in the week, 'cause once Sunday arrives, we're mixing things up a bit.

Any questions?

I know this a lot to swallow for you die hard LRBC'ers who are quite content with their Sunday routine, thank you. All I can ask is that you take a chance, hop on the bus with us, and come for a ride. We will do our best not to fail you and to continue to steer this thing toward sunnier pastures, empty plates, and mid afternoon nap fuel.


Please Stop By and Say Hello

Forgive him, my husband is camera shy and I rarely get a chance to shoot him. I took this shot one day after work and I gotta say, it's one of my favorites of him. That paint stain on his shirt, I was with him when he got that; it was mid-summer and we were priming a wall at the cafe. And those pants he so often likes to cook in? Well, those are the seersuckers he wore at our wedding. But the thing I love most about this picture is that I was able to capture his hands. Oh, how I love those hands! Evan has the most beautiful hands, hands I fell in love with as a seventeen year old girl, and hands that have since remained naturally manicured, calming and familiar, and baby-soft to the touch, despite grueling hours dedicated to manual labor at the cafe.

The above declaration is true: The cafe will be open tomorrow because of Evan. Sure, we all pitched in today, several of us for several hours in fact. There was even a plumber in there, finishing the last of the repair work. But at the end of the day, we all went home. All of us except Evan. He has accepted the fate of not sleeping tonight to make sure he can do everything possible so that we may open our doors tomorrow morning. He went to the cafe around 6am this morning and from what I've been able to gather from him, he will not be returning this evening. When I spoke with him last he informed me he is re-installing shelves, cooking fig jam, processing apple butter, and assembling a strata. This all after a day of financial advisory, lawyer talks, employee briefs, insurance debacles, and seemingly endless sweeping, dusting, washing, clearing, moving, and hauling. So that's why the cafe's reopening tomorrow actually owes itself to the tireless dedication of Evan, and Evan alone.

It is a gross underestimate to say that we are tired. Exhaustion barely holds a candle to the way we feel right now. I cannot remember a time thus far in this journey where our personal and professional lives have been so strained. Over these past two weeks we have clung to one another and pushed away from one another, only to later collapse into an impossibly entangled, inconsolable puddle on the floor. Evan has been fighting the urge to throw his fist into a wall, while I have clenched and pounded mine into his chest countless times. Our tears have flowed freely and without reassurance of an end. We have been battling the overwhelming inclination to stop fighting.

Sometimes we feel like we are losing this battle.

Sometimes we feel like it would be easier to stop kicking; easier to let the water rise over us and sweep us away; easier to just disappear.

Because truth be told, I'm not a very strong swimmer and we are both getting tired. Lord, are we tired.

But Evan is still kicking. Despite the lack of sleep, nourishment, and caffeine, he is still battling for the cafe, for us, for me, and for you.

Because of him, we are opening our doors tomorrow and there are no words to express my gratitude. There are no words to express how hard this man works. There are no words to express how grateful I am to have this man in my corner; how lucky I am to call him my husband and my advocate; and how proud he makes me.

In light of the recent circumstances and subsequent financial hardships suffered, as well as in anticipation for our upcoming dinner service, we have installed a few changes and focused our daily menu. We have also changed the hours for our Sunday service, which will now feature a Sunday Brunch from 9am-3pm. Please stop by the cafe at your earliest convenience so that we may explain these new changes, answer any of your questions, and/or simply wrap our arms around you and tell you how much we've missed you. We cannot wait to open our doors again and see all of your smiling faces. Again: Thank you, thank you, thank you. XO


Here's What We Can Tell You:

Lost, Lost, Lost: But not until it's been recorded, documented, and photographed

1. We're still waiting for a complete response from our insurance company SAFECO.
2. Thus far in dealing with our adjuster and this company, it's been stall after stall, delay after delay.
3. Upon first asking our adjuster when we might have the LEAST bit of an idea how and when we can enlighten our employees as to their fates, he backtracked, made up more excuses, and simply did not return our phone calls.
4. Despite us being out of business for over eleven days, and our employees being out of a job for over eleven days, a cafe destroyed, hundreds (if not more) of dollars of product lost, and this all coinciding with our busiest time to date, SAFECO has not extended any coverage towards our claim as of now.
5. Through the help of a good friend, we're hoping to change all of this...Feverishly.

We hope you are beginning to see the bigger picture...

Because things are looking up.