Sunday, October 26, 2008
What a beautiful day in western Washington! It's late October and its about 60 degrees and sunny, the leaves are changing, life is good. I was able to sneak off this morning without the family, so I headed over to Victrola Coffee in Capitol Hill. My wife took her sister there a while back after watching Giada De Laurentiis feature Victrola on her show. My wife liked the place, so I figured I'd give it a try.
The location I visited is located at 411 15th Avenue E in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. This seems to be a central location for caffeinating as there is also a Cafe Ladro and a Starbucks within a block of Victrola. Why someone would go to Starbucks when there are top notch independent coffee houses so close is beyond me. It's not like the high-end coffee houses charge more for their drinks than Starbucks and the quality is just not comparable. I guess if you load up your drink with carmel and vanilla and all that other sweet crap, the coffee itself probably doesn't matter.
With your first step inside Victrola, you immediately realize that this place is a little different than your local Starbucks. This is what I envisioned a Seattle coffee house to be when I lived in Chicago. The baristas are not your clean cut corporate trained baristas. They are rough around the edges, have purple hair and full arm tattoos. This is my kind of place! I placed my usual order for a medium latte and a scone and headed over to a table to wait for my order to be filled.
A little tangent: it is so nice not having to use made up sizes like grande and venti. I hate that crap. What is the purpose of having those stupid sizes? What is wrong with using a word that is part of the English language to describe the size of the coffee?
Sorry, for the rant. Ok, so I headed over to my table to wait for my drink and glanced over to the wall where there were a bunch of art pieces on display. This is not the kids of stuff that you would see at the local corporate joint. It seemed like the collection was done by an artist that watched The Cell a few too many times.
I almost hate to write this, but the latte was really good. On my recent outings, I really haven't found a bad cup of coffee. Compared to some of the other lattes I've had, this one was really smooth and creamy. The coffee flavor was subtle, but not weak. The one from Lighthouse was intense and Victrola was just the opposite. In wine terms, the Lighthouse was a young bold California Cabernet and the Victrola is a nicely aged Bordeaux. I wish I would have ordered the large size. It was really that good. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think that Victrola also roasts their beans, but at the other location.
If you want to go to a funky counter-culture coffee shop, this is the place for you.
Posted by Mike Rupp at 2:17 PM