Dunkin’ Donuts’ has a slogan that goes, “America Runs on Dunkin’.” This statement could more or less be true, but a truer statement would be that “America Runs on Coffee.” A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health, states that 54% of Americans that are 18 years of age or older drink coffee every day, and 65% of those Americans drink it with breakfast. Consider me one of those 54%. Now, by no means am I a coffee connoisseur, but from a very young age, my mother introduced me to ‘cafe con leche’ like any other hispanic mother would. ‘Cafe con leche’, is directly translated into “coffee with milk.” Its a sweeter and less concentrated version of a cup of coffee; my mother would give my sister and I this as a snack after dinner, or with breakfast during the winter. Any restaurant we went to for breakfast, instead of ordering chocolate milk, I was the six year old ordering a cup of coffee, with cream and sugar on the side, please and thank you. As I grew older, coffee became and stayed part of me, and forever will. Now though my daily morning coffee when going to work or to school is always Starbucks. When I do have time to relax in a coffee shop though, I look for either a deep rich roast, if not then an americano. It must be warm, and in a large cup that I can take in and enjoy slowly. Choosing where to spend your morning or afternoon sipping coffee is difficult to choose because there are hundreds of coffee shops to choose from in the Phoenix area. I have lived here for almost 22 years, and I still stumble upon new places almost every single day. Lux Central has recently become a good go to study session spot for me though. You can barely spot it when driving down Central Ave, you’ll make a U-turn on Campbell, and soon enough you will see a small gray building with the tiniest font spelling “LUX.” As soon as you walk in you will be greeted by trendy men and women, all enjoying themselves, typing on their computers, studying, or digging into a large plate of food. They have a large selection of pastries behind a large glass panel; all ranging from scones, pies, cookies, to muffins, breads, and parfaits.What I’ve been addicted about them recently is not their coffee though, it has been their Arnold palmers. They make their lemonade in house, and its SO refreshing, especially with this dry heat creeping in. You also have a variety of teas to choose from if you don’t enjoy the standard black tea. I also gave their cherry/raspberry pie a shot, and that was the best choice I made that day. From the tarty, yet subtly sweet filling with large fruit chunks, to the crust with almond flakes, and sugar clusters. It was a great treat while I fried my brain listening to lectures. It was a good combination with the tea and lemonade surprisingly. They also have a full on lunch/dinner menu to choose from, and bar ready to serve wine, beer, and cocktails. I’ve only had their jalapeño mac and cheese, and although I would have preferred them to cook the jalapeño with the pasta and cheese, it was a good plate. If you are looking for a relaxed setting, with a friendly and lax atmosphere, go and take a peek at Lux on Central, I am more than positive that their cafe will not disappoint you.
Next up is a Fox Restaurant Concept (FRC), called The Henry. This location has slowly but surely stolen my heart. From their grandesque entrance, to their modern, refined, rustic interior that has you feeling like you are inside your cool grandparents living area. It’s always bustling with men in suits, and women in chic attire. With a beautiful patio, and delicious coffee, you’ll want to spend every morning here. The henry offers more of an older and refined feel compared to Lux. Nonetheless, you are welcome to come in with your laptop and study, or work your life away. I sat a table with old desk lamps, with two students and two marketers. All of us were enjoying their coffee and food. I tried their “Cleo.” Which consists of espresso, hazelnut, and almond milk; and it was the perfect amount of bitter. They did not by any means over do themselves on the hazelnut, which I am eternally grateful for, because I believe that coffee should always have a larger bitter notes than sweet ones. I also ordered their Quinoa Breakfast Burrito-organic eggs, quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, pasilla chile, avocado, and pepper jack cheese. I wasn’t a fan of it, not because it wasn’t good, but because I’ve never been a fan of breakfast burritos, but I told myself to give it a shot because everyone there was eating one, mistake on my part. Just because I wasn’t a fan of it, doesn’t mean you won’t be though. The quinoa in the eggs was a different idea that I thought was neat, and the pasilla salsa was excellent, the avocado fresh, and there was cheese everywhere. E V E R Y W H E R E. A great go to, and healthy on the go breakfast meal for a person in a rush. I actually ended up staying there so long, partly due because I had to and partly because I wanted to because they offer great study space. I went ahead and ordered lunch. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for any bread with cheese.And I am a HUGE fan of grilled cheese. Luckily they had that on their menu, and it was so good, because it was so simple. No bullshit involved with the bread, protein, and cheese. It was simple buttered and toasted white bread, with a mixture of havarti, swiss, and cheddar. I paired it with of course, an Arnold palmer, just as good, if not better, than the Arnold palmer at Lux. They have these well rounded dishes and drinks at the Henry, that everyone needs to try at least once. You won’t be disappointed by their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If choosing dinner, as a vegetarian go for the quinoa tacos, or the brussels sprout caesar salad. If a carnivore, my boyfriend highly recommends the braised short rib, or you can create your own roasted chicken dinner. All in all a great location, with great cocktails, great food, and great staff. Two great coffee shops, that offer more than just coffee, and always leave you wanting more.