I realised today that it has been rather remiss of me, up until this point, to have not written a bit about my local. I mean I spend quite a lot of time under its roof and within its walls. So much so that all the lovely girls that work there know who I am and what my order is without even having to utter any instructions. In fact, besides home and work, it is probably my most frequented location. I should also point out that when I say local, I mean of the caffeine flavoured kind.
Columbus Cafe is situated literally 5 mins walk from where I live and it part of a big hardware/plant store. I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the world but that’s not unusual in New Zealand. In fact I love cafe’s in garden centres. They have a different kind of vibe from a place located in a trendy city location. Even though it can get quite noisy when full, there is still a feeling of restfulness being so close the plants and greenery. Well at least I think so.
So what about the coffee?
I will lay my cards on the table and say that they brew the best Americano I have ever tasted. Not too strong or weak and never has it tasted burnt (which I have experienced elsewhere). They also make a great flat white (with not too much foam) as well as a mocha and latte. And when I ask for it extra hot, that’s exactly what I get. I have been very frustrated in the past when asking for a bit more heat I still get luke warm. Not so here. Hot means hot. And I never have to wait more than a few minutes for my order to arrive. In some instances I have still been taking off my coat before sitting down when the coffee is put on the table in front of me. To be fair I do normally visit when it’s not super busy but I still think that’s great service.
Not so long ago I did cause some confusion when I changed my regular order. They were very surprised but quickly adjusted!
And the food!
They have a wonderful and very tasty range of cabinet goodies, ranging from savory to sweet, breakfast to lunch all very reasonably priced. And even the things that are slightly more expensive are worth it. Well, I don’t mind paying what they ask. But the food offering that they do the best, from the selection I have tried, is their cheese scones. They are without any shadow of a doubt the best in the world! I don’t care if I haven’t tasted an example of every possible cheese scone in the world. I just know that Columbus’s are the best. No argument. They are large and totally delicious. I have mine heated (again really hot). No butter though. I don’t want to distract from the taste of the cheese because, yes, you can actually taste it.
You can also order from a select but nicely varied menu. I can vouch for their grilled mushrooms although now I think they only do a creamy version although I haven’t tried those yet. Maybe over the festive break I’ll treat myself (and go for a walk afterwards!). The paleo breakfast bowl is also a winner, consisting of salad greens, avocado, tomato, beetroot hummus, poached eggs and mushrooms. To make it extra delicious I add salmon. It really is as good as it sounds and I never feel over full. I am making myself hungry as I write this!
What else makes me love this place and miss it when I go away?
The lovely friendly atmosphere where I can be left on my own with my coffee and book to enjoy some downtime. It’s where I am known and trusted. It’s a place where I can enjoy a break from all the things that need doing and where work (and other such stuff) doesn’t intrude. It is, simply, just a nice place to be. And I think that is something to cherish in today’s world.
(Images: Sarah Kreig)