Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sisters Coffee - in the Pearl update

Sisters Coffee has been open several weeks now. I have visited it twice and come away with mixed feelings. Overall I like it even though, or maybe because, it is not Starbucks nor is it like the Urban Grind. Both are close by and each has its own and very different environment.

While it is located in the northern part of Pearl - where the overpriced condos reign supreme - the coffee price is lower. I haven't priced the coffee beans yet. The same coffee drink at Starbucks for $3.25 is $3.50 at Urban Grind, but at Sisters it is $3.00. 

Sisters lacks in pastry selection. To be fair - I have gone to Sisters around 1:30 - so there could have been a better selection in the morning. But I haven't even seen bagels. Oddly enough in the pastry department, Starbucks is better than either Sisters or Urban Grind. Starbucks though has the worse bagels. Urban Grind has real bagels.

Seating at Sisters is odd, i.e., some of the tables and seats are (unintentionally) designed for single occupancy, but are a little crowded for two and are uncomfortable at best. The table - a tree trunk slice - is irregular in shape with no one receiving adequate space to put down their computer along with the coffee. Add in a pastry - it becomes overly crowded even for one. The seats for the tree tables are more akin to saw horses and just as uncomfortable to sit on. 

The other tables are wood too and appear decent. I haven't yet sat at one of them. And, of course they have some overstuffed chairs found at nearly every coffee shop. These look comfortable, but are impracticable for using your computer or eating. Drinking coffee isn't much better in that a central table requires one to sit on the edge of the chair to drink.

Like so many places, the ordering is not designed to pass by the pastries - so one is left with leaving the line to  pick out something to eat. And the pastries are a good 6 feet from the cashier. A pick up of your order is 12 - 15 feet away next to the restroom doors. 

They do have a mezzanine where from down below the chairs and tables look better especially if want to spend time on the computer. It appears inaccessible except by stairs which seems in violation of federal access laws. And, because it is inaccessible - more trouble than it is worth for me - I can't tell if there are electrical outlets or not.

And electrical outlets are few downstairs. I hope there are more, but I only saw one. It is no big deal for me because my computer gets, with a little husbandry, 6 hours or so on the battery.

Music seems to be provided by an actual piano apparently accessible for playing by anyone who can. But it is just a tad loud causing people to a certain extent to speak louder than they might otherwise.

I will say that while the preparation of my typical coffee - "double cappuccino for here" - is a little slow it is well done. Thus, slow is a plus. It is the best of all the coffee places in presentation. The cup and saucer is the correct size - unlike Starbucks and Urban Grind. 

It clearly seems that I have more cons than pros, but many of the cons could be leveled at Starbucks or Urban Grind. E. g., the tables and chairs are not meant for an extended stay. All in all Sisters is decent place to go for coffee - not necessarily better or worse than Starbucks or Urban Grind - just different.

Will I go to Sisters again - yes. And the next time I will go in the morning to check out the pastry situation.

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