I have found it at last, a coffee shop with a relaxed vibe, good drinks, and hours past sundown a walkable distance from my apartment! If Café 4 were a mile closer, it’d win for local coffee shop options, but Café Rumi is a very acceptable runner-up, plus it stays open an hour later. Super friendly people at the register who love their coffee, exceptional gyros, bucket seats, and a mix of patrons young and old? What’s not to like? Plus, they offer organic, fair-trade coffee that is roasted over oak locally, which makes for a distinctive selling point all on its own. As evident in their décor that includes a traditional tea set on display and lush fabrics draped over the windows and above the large mirror, Café Rumi has Afghani influences.
The rich red-gold of the walls is inviting, and I love the pressed-tin pattern that adorns the bottom half of their walls, in no small part because we used to have the same exact design on our ceiling in North Carolina. Those Middle Eastern touches combined with modern red chairs and square tables make for an appropriate fusion of styles for Northern California.
More so than the décor, however, the warm greeting the barista offered right when I walked in the door impressed me. She talked me into letting her experiment with a Mexican mocha chai on the merits of her excitement alone.
It was great–I always enjoy the spices of chai mixed in with a good mocha base. The iced coffee was just as good.
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771 Broad Street
Old West Durham, Durham
Lunch: $6.50 — $9.00
Hummingbird Bakery is Amy Tornquist’s, chef of Watt’s Grocery, newest venture. Watt’s is one of my go-to recommendations for dining in Durham. As a lover of all things dessert, coffee, and Watt’s Grocery, I was looking forward to trying out Hummingbird. It’s housed on the first floor of a multipurpose building across from Duke’s East Campus. A large sign for the ADF is the most identifying feature on the building beyond its unique architecture. The bakery is housed on the first floor to the right. Seating is somewhat cramped, though I think they have more outdoors options on nice days.
Hummingbird continues the trend of using shades of blue for bakeries like Sugarland, Scratch, and Piebird. Did I miss a memo on the required use of pastels with sweet treats?
I’m just noting the trends, folks. Nothing wrong with robin’s egg blue. Hummingbird’s logo is a manic scribble of a nest that provides a dose of whimsy, and the general impression I had of the interior was cute.
The display case houses a wealth of cupcakes and other desserts like small chocolate meringue pies that I really should have tried.
Baked goods are housed on the far end of the counter and seem to go pretty fast. I chose to start my meal with a cupcake. The chocolate-almond buttercream frosting was drooping, so I ate dessert first. Who am I to let sweet things sit until after my meal?
Almond Joy was the cupcake’s theme. Although melting, that frosting was delicious. The chocolate cake was a tad dry and had a coconut center that would have been more of a player if twice the size. The size of the cupcake itself was enough for two people. A sprinkle of almonds would have been welcome in keeping with the theme.
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