Bell and I visited a rainbow of coffee shops. Red Bee Coffee Company, Red Dirt Coffee Shop, and Greenhouse Coffee House. She rates each on drinks, food, and the atmosphere. The atmosphere is the level of friendly people willing to chin wag with an adorable 10-year-old. She places herself right in front of the sippers and opens with a grin and a compliment. We could all learn something from her ability to light up people.
Red Bee is a cornerstone of Grover Beach and my favorite of the three for coffee, treats, and pleasant employees. The seating faces the street, so people watching is supreme. I ordered the dark roast coffee. The coffee was from Hatch, and it was bold without being bitter, paring nicely with my Rumchatta cream. I ordered the brie and honey panini, but they have many panini options. Bell queried about loose tea, and the barista showed her the tin jar and said it was from The Secret Garden. She opted for the hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin that was nicely warmed up. Many sweet treats and cold drinks were offered, and a stream of smiling faces dashed through the door. This will be my stop before I walk the beach from now on. Bell’s rating: 15 out of 10.
Greenhouse Coffee Company’s first impression was open and airy. The menu promises the food is elevated, and they did not lie. Bell brought her laptop because she thinks that is what most people come to coffee houses to do. She had her first heart in the milk drink and was so impressed. I liked the coffee, it was a light roast, but respectable. We had the French Toast Bites with sausage. Thick sourdough bread is sliced into hunks for dipping into maple syrup. It is served with sliced strawberries and two sausage links. Their different twist on oatmeal looked scrumptious, but they were out of most things. I will be back to try everything on this menu created by this talented family. Bell’s rating: 9 out of 10.
Red Dirt Coffee Shop was a staple next to Smart and Final for a long time. I loved the Friday night impromptu ukulele concerts and the jungle spreading onto the sidewalk. They have moved and are now settled between Walmart and Food For Less. Hawaiian décor and pictures adorn the walls, with half of the space dedicated to the kitchen. We ordered a couple of sugar bombs disguised as coffee drinks, and Bell also ordered some small bites. I had a bagel that was burnt. The thing that throws me about this place is how clicky it is. If they don’t know you, they don’t say hi. But patrons they know are treated like long-lost family. I wonder how many times I must visit to warrant a hello? Bell’s rating: 7 out of 10.