AMÉLIE’S: A FRENCH BAKERY AND COFFEE SHOP In Charlotte

DOWNTOWN CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, looks a little too planned for this North-easterner. I’m absolutely not bragging about Philly, my nearest big market metro, but I’ll use it as an example of what I expect to experience downtown: winding, hilly, brownstone and rowhouse-crowded streets that test even the finest non-directionally challenged drivers, wisecracks and secrets thrown down at every turn, and cool little Mom and Pop food joints within an arm’s radius. In other words, unfiltered personality written all over the skyline’s wizened face. So, when I drop into a city like Charlotte, NC, that feels, well, a little too neat for comfort, it reminds of the “Mary Kay” face. Everything is in perfect order, with a rich color-coordinated palate, precise lines and plump curves, and more than a few illusions. I lower my expectations at finding much below the surface, since it is the surface that is demanding attention. This is […]

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Discovering A “Hidden” Coffee House In Nashville

The Best Coffee in Town. When I was 18, I had an argument with my father that it shouldn’t matter who you know, but rather what you know. I’m still an optimist and a wee bit naive, but I wouldn’t argue that today. I’d say both matter. I can’t tell you where it is. I can’t tell you the name of the joint or how to get the information. You’ve got to know someone. Or get invited. Perhaps, you ask the right question of the right person who knows that Someone. It’s not about money or power. It’s about coffee-ease. Code words and earnest seeking about the truths the bean holds. I’m not exactly sure what I said the other day in Nashville, but I said it to the right person in the right place and I found treasure: a “hidden” coffee house. What, you are thinking, is this an […]

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