More Than Just a Smooth Brew
The Place: Smooth Brew
The Location: 1447 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix
The Dishes: Green Eggs and Turkey Bowl, Hyper Monkey Bread, New Burrito, Strawberry Cinnamon Scone, Cheese Danish, Turkish Latte, Chai Tea Latte
By: Tessa Esposito
Living in Midtown Phoenix has a lot of perks, one of which is the number of locally-owned coffee shops. As I was driving down McDowell Road just west of 16th Street a while back, I noticed a little terra cotta building, with large front windows, turquoise trim and coffee shop signage. Having never noticed it before, I immediately turned around to try it out. Smooth Brew, as this place is called, is a locally-owned shop offering coffee, espresso, cappuccino, smoothies, house-baked pastries, and breakfast and lunch items, all freshly made. The menu also includes vegan and gluten-free options.
Upon walking in, the vibe you get is retro, chic, and hip. The atmosphere is very charming and welcoming. The staff add to the feel with friendly, helpful and energetic service. As my first visit to Smooth Brew was mid-day, I definitely had to try out a lunch item. I ordered the Green Eggs and Turkey Bowl ($4.95), and a large Turkish Latte ($4.75).
I’d never had a Turkish latte and wasn’t sure what to expect. It has a little zing of cardamom and a dollop of honey which gives it a slightly savory flavor without being overly sweet (and I now have a new-found latte love). The Green Eggs and Turkey bowl arrived as a relatively small portion, but with each bite, I made the universal ‘delicious’ head nod, and it was, in fact, very tasty and filling. After finishing, I determined that the portion size was just right, and I appreciated the fact that I was satisfied without feeling overly full. They also serve the Green Eggs and Turkey bowl as a breakfast sandwich, on a fresh toasted English muffin ($3.95). First visit was a hit!
It couldn’t have been a day or two, when my mind kept going back to that Turkish Latte. I had to go back. This time I hit Smooth Brew’s drive-through. As I drove around the quaint little building, there were menus at several spots, helping me decide exactly what I wanted before I got to the window. In addition to a Turkish latte, I indulged in their Hyper Monkey Bread; homemade bread infused with bananas, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips, topped by an espresso glaze. It was a definite treat!
For my third visit, we decided to try their Open Mic Saturday. Unintentionally, I turned into ‘that person’ who adjusts every aspect of their drink order. I really didn’t mean to, however, it was nice to see how pleasant the staff were about it. I ordered a large Chai Tea Latte ($4.25) and even with all my special requests, they got it, and the Chai was spot on. For my entree, I ordered the New Burrito (eggs, potatoes, cheese and spinach), and we tried a few pastries as well; a gluten-free strawberry cinnamon scone and a cheese danish. The scone was hearty with just enough strawberry flavor and a hint of cinnamon. The danish had a perfectly flakey crust and a smooth cheese filling. It was nice to relax and enjoy a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.
After several enjoyable visits, we feel confident about this little gem. Smooth Brew has a great vibe, tasty menu items, and the prices are very reasonable. The drive-through is an added bonus, but I highly recommend stopping in to stay a while. The retro couches provide velvety comfort, encouraging you to just sit and chill. You can also sit in their small, modern dining area, or at the window bar overlooking McDowell Road. There is a quaint outdoor patio in the back to soak up some sun and fresh air. Parking is available onsite and along the street, and free Wi-Fi is available for those looking to get some work done outide of the office.
Next time you’re in the area, or even relatively close, look for the cute terra cotta coffee house. Stop in or drive through and get your smooth brew and a bite on the side! Their hours are Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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