When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out and let you know our initial impressions. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
In our book, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Cartel coffee and liars. Well, maybe not liars, but when we ask naysayers where they prefer to get their joe, they typically name some flouncy cafe that serves, you guessed it -- Cartel coffee. Whenever we need to get a boatload of work done, we grab a hyper-caffeinated, low acidity large iced toddy from Cartel and hunker down at one of the small metal tables, not needing the overly adorable ambiance its competitors supply. We remember the day we saw a public zoning notice outside, getting pumped for the day it would serve home-brewed beer. Well, that day has come.
Cafe/Bar: Cartel Coffee Lab Location: 225 West University Drive Suite 101, Tempe Open: Since 2007, though the microbrewery has only been tapped this week Drink: In-house brewed beer to match the in-house roasted coffee Price: $3-$5