First Taste

White Sage Espresso: Good Coffee, Bacon Quiche, and an In-House Psychic

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. 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).

Restaurant: White Sage Espresso Location: 2639 North 16th Street Open: Two months Eats: Coffee, Italian sodas, baked goods, sandwiches, quiche Price Point: Under $10

The west side of the Coronado neighborhood has seen its fair share of cute eateries and coffee shops over the past few years. The east side of the neighborhood? Not so much.

Aside from La Condesa, Barrio Cafe, and a couple of galleries, the 16th Street side of the 'hood has stayed, well, pretty "hood," with a mixture of secondhand shops and cheap Mexican food joints.

But it's showing signs of life with the opening of a new coffeehouse called White Sage Espresso.

Open just under two months, White Sage makes its home in a renovated 1920s bungalow. The clean, open space is filled with antique chairs and tables, whimsical paintings, and interesting trinkets, creating an intimate and inviting space perfect for chatting with friends over a hot cup of Joe or getting some work done in a cozy corner. The new joint also has a beautifully bricked patio and a few seats on their classic stoop if you're craving a little outdoor action.

The coffeehouse imports its beans from the award-winning coffee bean roasters at Scottsdale's Village Coffee Roastery and turns them into finely crafted hot and cold beverages. The shop also serves a few sandwiches, house-made quiches, and baked goods, including muffins, tarts, and cinnamon rolls.

On our first trip to the new coffeehouse, the baked-goods case was little sparse with just a few muffins and two different quiches -- one veggie and one with bacon. And since the case labeled "tarts" was empty, we went with (of course) the bacon quiche (pictured above).

The flaky crust was filled with an interesting mix of mushrooms, red and green onions, eggs, and cheddar cheese then topped with slices of bacon and a seasoned with a mix of fennel and other exotic spices. The flavor was awesome but, unfortunately, the texture on the homemade egg pie was a bit on the rubbery side thanks to a quick nuke from the microwave. (And the girls behind the counter kept talking about cinnamon rolls. But after a two hour work session they still we're done. We saw them on Facebook hours later and they looked awesome. Next time we're getting our hands on one of those suckers.)

So the drinks are good, the food is decent, and the space is friendly -- great. Sounds like a nice spot to hang out. And if that's not enough, this coffee shop has one thing going for it that the rest don't.

They have an in-house psychic.

Apparently, we missed the sign, but as we were minding our own business on our laptop, a girl walked in and asked to speak with the psychic. She and the manager/psychic spoke out of earshot and then the girl left.

And then we found out how the coffeshop got its name.

They started burning sage and walking around the shop in a ritualistic fashion.

We can only assume it had something to do with conversation between the girl and the psychic but then again, we were the only customer left in the room.

White Sage is open Monday thru Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.. There's plenty of parking in the back and Wi-Fi's free.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Shannon Armour
Contact: Shannon Armour