Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Bagel Factory (100 W. 34. Ave. Anchorage)

It's been awhile, if you follow this only, you won't how busy my life has become, so i will just say...its been busy. However, today instead of having our ministry meeting at the church or at Elim Cafe as we normally rotate between those two places, we chose to branch out. This morning we met at "The Bagel Factory" on 34 Ave. across from Outback Steak House. i had actually pinned this place awhile ago as a place i wanted to go to after eating at Outback Steak House with my amazingly wonderful bride Jen.  So when the discussion opened to have our ministry meeting over breakfast, i saw the opportunity.

i arrived first, well walked in first anyway, went to a table in the back ordered three waters, a cup of coffee and grabbed a high chair for my Youth Pastor's one year old. i won't bore you with our ministry meeting but i will say that sometimes just getting together with the leadership team is all that is needed, as we build camaraderie and synergy within the ministry of Jewel Lake Community (www.jlcn.org).

As you may be aware, one of the reasons i like to check out new coffee shops is to find a place to work from on those days i just need to be out of the office but have things to do. A place to read, write, think, pray...yet have the distant fellowship of others in space. i will begin my critic of "The Bagel Factory" by saying this meets non of those requirements. The place is bright, the tables are pressed in, there is no wi-fi available and the intent of the staff seems to be, "turn the table".  Although friendly, (i could say something here but will refrain, for some insight on why, click here.

Just because this restaurant doesn't meet my previously stated needs, doesn't mean it isn't a good place. The food was good, coffee Kaladi's, and overall atmosphere was pleasant. The prices are a bit high for my pocketbook, even for the quality of the food, which i stated was good not great. i am going to give "The Bagel Factory" 3 cups...and that third cup might not be completely full but over half.

The Bagel Factory U> U> U> (good for bagels, not for work)

Friday, September 7, 2012

13th and I

Do you enjoy drinking coffee in your break room at work? Like the warehouse feel? Like sitting near a window and feel like your in an auto body shop that sells vegetables? Well, do i have the place for you! That's right. The New Sagaya City Market on 13th and I downtown is the place for you. Ok maybe I am being a little harsh, after all its not billed as a "Coffee Shop". It is however, a market, fresh meats, specialty foods, vegetables etc. this is their business and they do it well.

i should also say that i did find an opportunity to practice the presence of God. In spite of my surroundings i was able to still find a quiet stillness in which to meet with Jesus. i was only interrupted by my scheduled meeting with a friend and fellow Kingdom worker. i was quite surprised at how Jesus has been speaking to me and working in me regardless of where i am or what's going on around me.

Back to New Sagaya, i did like the New Sagaya Mid-Town market better (see previous post), it has less of a warehouse feel, but the more i think about it gearing up to write this post i have changed my mind. Although it is more warehouse-esk i like the location as it seems more of a "central" point in a community. The hub if you will, "lets walk down, grab coffee at the market and get some steak or fresh fish for dinner." Of course i enjoy "farmers markets" and small town feels in urban areas and New Sagaya, nails it!

Its only going to get 3 cups of coffee but...if i lived near by, i would be there often. U> U> U>

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jeepers Jitters we have a winner!

well, as the lack of entry indicates i have been busy and unable to visit new coffee shops and when i do it hasn’t been with enough experience to actually blog anything. however, this is my second thursday at, “jeepers” or as it is better known, “jitters” in eagle river. 
last week i ran into a fellow pastor friend of mine who pastor’s the local church here in eagle river. i say that as if there is only one church here in this part of town...and by the sound of some of them, that’s probably a true statement. but alas there are a lot of buildings with a sign, “church” on the property. anyway it was nice to sit and talk with him about our different ministry assignments and sermon preparation stuff. exchange ideas and fellowship. it was also fun because he is the pastor that jen and i have asked to perform our wedding ceremony and do some pre-marital stuff. 
this place is hopping for sure! i believe i over heard someone exclaim, “jeepers batman, i have the jitters!” ok, not really, but i wouldn’t put it past someone to say that given its business. when i walked in there was one half table attached to the wall. which reminded me of “solid ground cafe” the youth ministry room in weaverville, ca. that i designed with the help of some amazing youth workers and youth. anyway we put in a half table attached to the wall...it was pretty cool. so needless to say i didn’t feel slighted that that was the table i had to choose. 
i stayed there for about an hour before another table opened up that i could move to...and i did. i needed a little more space to spread out with my bible, notebook, computer and coffee. speaking of coffee they serve kaladi brothers coffee here so it is yummy. i got a sludge cup, which is just drip coffee with a shot of espresso in it...good stuff. i also ordered a breakfast burrito with veggies, also super yummy! with how busy this place is i was really surprised at the amount of work i was able to accomplish. i think the atmosphere lends itself well to relaxing even with all the people here. 
the line has been steady the whole morning into now the afternoon. so i think the secret is out. which isn’t a terrible thing...means the place will be open for a while. which means i have a thursday morning coffee shop stop. that’s right, at least for awhile, this is going to be my thursday morning home for reading and sermon prep and of course coffee. 
this is a 5 cup coffee house.... “Jeepers Jitters we have a winner!”

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Golden Donut on Lake Otis and Tudor

So i woke up this morning reached for my phone to see what was happening in the world since it is my life line. It was off! I rubbed my eyes and looked at the clock 9am...what!!! Its a good thing Dave and I arranged for him to start leading the Coffee with Jesus on Thursday AM's so that I can focus on starting another one. So that panic quickly subsided, turned on my phone and the emails came in...Dale was in the hospital having emergency surgery last night to have his appendix removed. So now of course I feel terrible that my phone was off, why do things like that always happen when you do goofy things like turn your phone off, sorry Dale for turning off my phone. Surly, I am the reason for your current situation. I did head over there and visited with him and for those of you who know him, he is in good spirits and will be out later today, besides he is surrounded by pretty nurses.

You know I got over to Alaska Regional and realized I had no idea that this particular hospital even existed. But what I did know is that I would be passing Golden Donut on my way back to the church. I thought to myself, "it has been forever since I went to an actual donut shop. How could I pass this amazing opportunity up?" So, I parked, walked in, and it was exactly as I pictured it, they even have free wifi. I got a bear claw, I haven't had a real bear claw in I don't know how long...it is excellent! Although they have espresso drinks I ordered just a cup of their drip coffee, probably Yuban or Folgers...pretty terrible but I wanted the true old fashion donut experience.

The is a nostalgic feel here although it isn't necessarily conducive to reading. But visiting or just grabbing a donut and coffee, this is the place! I am going to give it 3 and 1/2 cups only because of what I am truly looking for...however the donuts are exceptional!

Golden Donut U>U>U> J>

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kaladi Brothers Coffee on 6901 E. Tudor

I was given some Kaladi Brothers gift cards for Christmas and I am putting them to good use buying coffee and visiting the several Kaladi locations around town. This isn’t my first visit to this location I had coffee with a friend here once but its been some time since then. 
Have you ever seen the movie, “That Thing You Do”? Well the main character ‘Guy Patterson’ and his eventual girlfriend ‘Faye’ played by Liv Tyler in the movie are here in this local. Not the actors, but a couple of college kids that if they were making a remake of the movie, they just walked off the set. 
I’m not a big fan of valentines day, at least what society has turned it into. Also, taking into account what St. Valentines Day can represent, Chicago gang wars of the late 1920‘s is one and the 14 martyred saints named “Valentine” is a bit odd and creepy but all in all it is a day of love now and that is what people think of it. I don’t mind it all that much but it is a day of constant reminders of where I am currently in life, not so much fun. Time to count my blessings....ok done, just kidding. I am super blessed. God continues to shower down upon me major blessings and I am extremely thankful for each of them. 
I was reading Thomas Merton, I know big surprise, he writes this: “The thing is to cling to God’s will and truth in their purity and try to be sincere and to act in all things out of genuine love, in so far as I can.” I whole heartedly agree. This day of love should only act as a reminder of our daily desire not a single day in which to act or a memorial in which to sulk. 
So far this Kaladi Brothers is a huge winner! In fact it’s going to get my first 5 cup rating even though its a chain. The way it is set up lends itself to a great atmosphere. The coffee is always good, the staff exceptional and in the middle there is a ladies Bible study, Jeremiah 29 is the topic. It seems very interesting. 
Kaladi Brothers on E. Tudor gets....yes 5 out of 5 cups U>U>U>U>U> 
I wish it were closer but I will be back here again. It will be put into my rotation as I continue to hunt other coffee shops. Remember, “to act in all things out of genuine love, in as far as I (you) can.” 

Coffee? Yes, Please Anchorage restaurants

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kaladi Brothers Coffee on Brayton or Frontage Road between Dimond and Dowling.

I have been battling a cold since Sunday. I made it through service by God's grace and now feel perhaps on the upswing. I decided to venture out of the house today, which I did. My first stop was Kaladi Brothers Coffee. I received several gift cards for Kaladi Brothers, so I figured I would start visiting some of the locations around Anchorage. This location is not the easiest to get to, but you wouldn't know it by being in it, it was packed. I believe that they also roast coffee at this location, a hub of some sort I am sure.

I learned a few things while I was there and wrote them down on a piece of paper. Here is that note in its entirety written out for you just as I wrote it on paper.

things i learned today: 
liberty tax statue dancers earn on average $9 an our and work in four hour shifts. 
people still seek fortune tellers.
all political jokes are liberal leaning and by liberal i mean communist not just liberal in terms of social justice.
the beauty of art is much like the beauty in a person, it is in the eye of the beholder...it may be hard to see on the surface, but if you look close enough, deep enough, long enough everything is beautiful.
if you don’t read a paper “before” its printed its already old news.
Jesus still has all the answers and I have a long way to go. 
My intention is, in fact, simply to “die” to the past somehow (realizing the past has made me who I am today). To live more abandoned to God’s will and less concerned with (my own) projects and initiatives.
Actually I feel more sure than I ever have in my life that I am obeying the Lord and am on the way He wills for me, though at the same time I am struck and appalled (more than ever!) by the shoddiness of my response. 
I am just beginning to awaken and to realize how much more awakening is to come.
I was just invited to a conference called the “Awakening”.
people still like poofy hairdos, talking loud, and wearing sweatpants in public.
i very much like being in a crowed of people but being completely alone...when i am not the only one alone. 

Kaladi Brothers, I like this place, I even like the location, but not for reading just people watching. All in all 4 cups U>U>U>U> .....but still, on to the next!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alaska Bagel Restaurant

We've been meeting with Jesus at the Alaska Bagel Restaurant at 113 West Northern Lights for a couple of weeks. There are plenty of places here to sit that is for sure. Large dining area with tables for loners, such as myself currently, and groups of 14, I say 14 because there is currently a group that size. Some local business or department within a business bought breakfast for its staff. They started streaming in shortly after we began our Coffee with Jesus meeting. At one point I was thinking I wish we had taken a table off to the side, not in the middle of the room, but the Spirit quickly checked that thought and I realized we need to be more center than we are most of the time. Well at least me anyway, maybe you don't have that same issue. I am the sort, believe it or not, that likes to be against the wall looking in on whats going on. A people watcher by hobby I don't prefer the limelight, which sort of goes against part of what I do for a living, speaking in front of groups of people. Although around family, I can be a bit more free.

Other "Jesus" or Bible folks are meeting in here today, they met last week also. Not sure if they are an every day group or just a Thursday group like we are. One of our group talked with them briefly this morning before I arrived, yes I was a few minutes late, terrible I know. Anyway this group met off in the corner out of the way, probably have my personality type. Just now another group of men showed up, looks like a mens prayer breakfast or better a fellowship group, less emphasis on the prayer part. They're older all their cell phones are set at the highest volume setting, they answer and yell into the phone, "WHAT?" a lot. Granted it is a restaurant but its fairly quiet at the moment most groups have moved on to the rest of their day and the place is now mostly filled with folks sitting alone. The waitress has been a champion, working the room mostly by herself.

We are studying James, only two verses in, our discussion today was, "count it all joy when you face trials..." or "consider", as my version rendered it. We looked at the meaning of the word "joy" and that it means, "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success." It seems contrary to life to count trials as joy given that definition. How does one take difficult circumstances that by their very nature bring one down and "turn that frown, upside down"? To use a cliche. I thought immediately of Paul and Silas, when after being beaten, they were thrown in prison, their response..."about midnight they were praying and singing hymns..." I have some work to do on this matter personally, counting trials as joy. I do an ok job of it but I have vast room for improvement.

The bagels here are good, really good. Always fresh. The coffee is delicious too. Smooth and savory but simple nothing complex. The employees are friendly and hard working. All in All, four very full cups of coffee ;) U> U> U> U>