Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe: Please Feed Us!

This morning we hit up our favorite Tempe coffee spot, Cartel Coffee Lab, with one of our favorite writers -- C.M. Redding, of Forking fame.

The four-shot latte at Cartel is simply fabulous, though they practically had to peel us off the ceiling by the end of our confab, we were so caffeinated. Part of that is due to the fact that, while the coffee at Cartel is to die for, you'll likely die of starvation if you count on the place to feed you.

We purchased the one and only food item offered at Cartel -- the $3.50 Sweet Salvation "handcrafted food bar."

From a health standpoint, the thing's packed with good stuff: oats, almonds, honey, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and flax), olive oil and sea salt. But we won't calculate the Weight Watchers points, considering the 19 grams of fat. Ouch!

The first bite didn't go down so easily (comparisons to birdseed bells were inevitable) but we have to admit that after a few minutes the thing was almost gone, and we were craving more.

Still, as Mr. Forking commented, a cinnamon roll would be nice. Or the toffee Michele Laudig encountered last week at Urban Beans. Maybe a banana or an apple?

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at