BEST NEIGHBORHOOD COFFEE HOUSE, NORTH PHOENIX - 2006
We're especially keen on this perfectly located, locally owned place because it really does encourage folks to mingle and hang around as long as they wish on the comfy sofas and chairs or out on the large patio. It's a terrific place to write, as long as you can find a nook somewhere and don't mind one of the friendly staffers ? a sweetheart named Katie comes to mind ? looking over your shoulder every now and then, and then reading your gibberish aloud to whomever's nearby. The food is good, plentiful and healthful, ranging from baked sweet potato fries to protein-packed smoothies, and a granola/oatmeal combo topped with fresh fruit. And don't fret, burger lovers. Soma charbroils a nice one if you insist. But we'd love this place even if the food was just serviceable, because it feels like home.