Bean & Barrel
50100 Governor’s Drive
Governor’s Village, Chapel Hill
Bean & Barrel is a coffee shop, bar, and grill. Have I mentioned how much I love that NC restaurants serve both coffee and alcohol? Having a cappuccino followed by a glass of wine is just way too much fun to pass up. During the day, Bean & Barrel did about an equal mix of coffee patrons and lunch patrons. You can order from the counter, or take a seat and the barista-servers will come over to take your order. At night, live music is often provided, and sports are up on the screens in the bar section.
I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere: it’s very relaxed, but they pay nice attention to detail with fun lamps,
wood carvings on the mirrors, and a mixture of wood, stone, and paint walls. Colors are a mixture of purples, green, blue, and peach and there are enough scattered art pieces and comfortable furniture to make it a step up from some coffee shops.
My small cappuccino with skim milk and a cinnamon sprinkle was just fine, with no bitterness to speak of. Later, I also tried their iced Caramel Kicked, an iced coffee with caramel syrup and a drizzle. The flavor tasted more like butterscotch than caramel, which is probably the fault of the syrup’s recipe. Since butterscotch is not a problem for me, no complaints here.
Of course, once I saw they had food, I had to stay for lunch, too.
I had a chicken salad wrap with fruit salad (fries and sweet potato chips are other side options). The chicken salad wrap contained grapes, cucumber, walnuts, and a lovely selection of fresh, mixed greens. The chicken salad itself could have used more flavor and been more plentiful; it seemed to get lost between the rest of the ingredients occasionally. That’s a common problem with wraps, though.
The fruit salad was made of the usual subjects: cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple. There was a secret twist, though; fresh tarragon snuck in, making it quite fun to eat. I love tarragon.
I’m glad I found this place! It’s a fairly close alternative to my normal coffee stomping grounds at Bean Traders. The coffee was just fine, and the food was, too. It’s a bit isolated, so I think it’s a prime spot to escape to with your laptop when you want quieter white noise.