Category: Portland

Sip of Europe – Portland Maine

Sip of Europe – Portland Maine

Sip of Europe is a coffee shop and cafe located in Portland, Maine. The name holds a couple of implications that become apparent upon entry and order. First, the owner and operator of the cafe, Yulia Stolkner, is from Russia, and is the face of the business.

Another solid recommendation we have for you is The Crooked Mile Cafe in Portland!

Customers Rave About the Quality of the Food, Drink & Customer Service

Second, as is fitting of her heritage, much of the food and beverages offered at Sip of Europe are of, logically, European variety. Yulia established Sip of Europe in May of 2015, and ever since, the customers and critics have been raving about the quality.  This is to say, not just the quality of the food and drink, but of the customer service.

Yulia is known for her “Russian hospitality,” merrily greeting and serving every customer herself. Her personality is apparent across all of the business’s media sites, and she is the subject of a vast majority of the reviews people spread amongst the internet.

The Owner is Always Present and Personable

People do not leave Sip of Europe without having some kind of interaction with her, and this has made the cafe a welcoming staple within its neighborhood.  However, people wouldn’t enter the cafe and be greeted by her in the first place, if it were not for what Sip of Europe bakes, busks, and brews.

Also, the subject of many cheerful reviews are the award-winning crepes. Crepes are a staple of European delicacies, and the options Sip of Europe presents are vast.

Famous For Their Sweet & Savory Crepes

People in America tend to associate crepes with pancakes, except pancakes are largely a sweet-paired breakfast item, and crepes can act almost as if they are burritos. Therefore, the crepes a separated into two menus: sweet, and savory.

The sweet options include fruit like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and apples, met with additives like Nutella, peanut butter, marshmallow, or maple syrup.

Get Creative With the Savory Crepes

The savory menu is where things get creative. Even the crepes themselves come flavored, such as in the Chipollino, which is made of onion and dill batter with dill and parmesan.

This can be ordered alone or filled with the ingredients that go into the other menu items, such as turkey, salmon, roast beef, and a variety of cheeses, vegetables, and spices.

Select crepes are even made with alcohol, and this practice extends into the beverage menu.  Prepared into hot, cold, or shake style beverages, Sip of Europe’s beverages combine a wealth of flavors, from espresso, teas, milks, syrups, wine, and ice cream.

Try Some Delicious European Style Coffees

There are standards, such as lattes and mochas, but also the European-style items, like the Coffee Glace, which is espresso poured atop ice-cream, or the Irish Coffee, which contains alcohol at the bottom.

Yulia is passionate about not messing these drinks up. Her European passion is demonstrated throughout the store too, via the artwork and pictures on the walls, and the little Eiffel Tower model that sits at the drink stand.

Of course, Europe is displayed first and foremost through the food and drink, and you can try these yourself, amidst happy, Russian hospitality.   

Address

229 Congress St, Portland, Maine, 04101

Omi’s Coffee – Portland Maine

Omi’s Coffee – Portland Maine

Omi’s Coffee Shop is a coffee, baked good, and alcohol serving cafe in South Portland, Maine. The business was originally founded in 2013, and co-owned between Gail Bruzgo, her daughter Katie, and Katie’s wife, Naomi Hall.

For another solid recommendation, check out The Crooked Mile Cafe as well.

The Story Behind the Name

The name spurs from the end of Naomi’s own name and is said to also be used as what a customer might happily pronounce as they consume one of Omi’s products, or rather, “Oh My’s.”

The store is still co-owned between the trio, though the location has changed. Formerly on the West side of Portland, in January of 2018, Omi’s relocated to an upgrade of a location on the Southern end.  Not that this location did not need some touching up.

It’s Welcoming and Feels Like Home

The owners were quick to emblazon the place with Omi’s creative style. Apparent immediately is that they have painted the outside of the building blue, and the building is actually a house.

This shows on the inside as well and creates a welcoming environment where customers can literally feel as if they are at home. Though not in as bright of colors, the interior is also painted in chalky blues, turquoise, whites, reds, and purples.

The floors, counters, and tables are of dark and light woods, respectively, but a few of the tables are more unique, both in what they are made of, and what is colored onto them.

Drink Coffee and Get Creative With Chalk

These have chalkboard surfaces, and customers are welcomed to exercise their creativity. The space itself is a good place to find creative inspiration, with its do-it-yourself nature. 

Much like an actual home, the cafe has bookshelves loaded with reading material, and is outfitted with pictures and postcards, but the certain objects are crafty, such as the mason jar chandelier, or the repurposing of the ledge above the stairs as an extra bar for seating. 

The New Location Serves Beer!

The new location can seat more than the former, and Omi’s products have expanded suitably. They now serve beer and wine from local vendors, and baked goods from Union Bagels and Standard Baking.

Try a Gourmet Sandwich With a Homemade Tea

The upgraded kitchen allows Omi to make gourmet sandwiches like the “Rise and Grind,” which consists of fried eggs, pickled red onion, spinach, sriracha honey sauce, goat cheese, and veggie sausage, among a variety of breakfast oatmeals, bars, and yogurts.

Also on hand are teas from Homemade Herbs and Teas, and of course, coffee. The coffee is sourced through fair trade, and comes from places such as Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and more.

Drink It Black Or Get Creative With House-made Syrups

Sold black as espresso, cold brew, drip coffee or pourovers, it is also met with milks, syrups, and sauces to create Mochas, Lattes, Cappuccinos, Cortados, Macchiatos, and Americanos. 

Customers are invited to create their own flavor combos with the additive flavors such as vanilla, lavender, caramel and chocolate sauce, Maine maple syrup and honey, and coconut, which is naturally already included in Omi’s Coconut Cold Brew. All of these are house-made, which is fitting for a business located inside of a house.

Whether you want to be creative, or simply bask in a colorful, inspiring environment, drink in-hand and sandwich next to a book on a chalkboard table, Omi’s can create it all for you.

Address

372 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine

Tandem Coffee Roasters – Portland Maine

Tandem Coffee Roasters – Portland Maine

Tandem Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee business and cafe with two locations in Portland, Maine. The two locations have distinct features, and actually have different, self-explanatory names. Will and Kathleen Pratt opened the first location in 2012, which is known as the Tandem Cafe and Roastery. Learn about how coffee affects your sleep here.

How the Name Came About

The couple met working for other coffee serving businesses in New York, and after relocating to Maine, noticed a tandem bicycle rolling down the street. Ever since seeing that, they have fashioned the bike into their logo and name.

While it is a fitting name for a cafe run by a couple, in 2014, they brought on their friend and resident baker, Briana Holt, to open a new location, known as the Tandem Coffee + Bakery. 

The 2nd Location is Also a Bakery

As the two locations’ names imply, the original location is where the bean roasting occurs, and the second is the hub for Briana’s baking. The other central difference between the two is that the original is half the size of the bakery, at only one thousand square feet.

Not only is the bakery bigger in size and available seating, but because of where it is located, the owners have noticed that it tends to be a more popular choice.

However, what customers have available to them is largely the same at each spot. This extends beyond consumable offerings, as the locations are both fitted with a modern style. 

They Have a Warehouse Exterior and Artistic Interior

The roasting location was once a warehouse, and the bakery formerly a laundromat and gas station, so the exteriors are different, but the interiors are both artistically drenched in off white and decorated with colorfully painted patterns.

The floors are smooth concrete, and most of the tables and chairs are made of light-toned woods. It is all very minimalist in nature and fits in with most coffee shops of Tandem’s generation.

Their Goods Are Quality and Green

As for the goods served, the coffee is not in the broadest and most creative of selections, but it is of high, green quality. The espressos, lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and black coffee brewed in most methods you can imagine are made with beans that often advertise their source.

Tandem acquires their coffee from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and more, and occasionally, these are specifically worked into the baked goods, not so bluntly stated as “coffee-flavored etc.” but labeled with the specific coffee used to make, for example, the frosting of a cake. 

Seasonal Pies, Ice Cream and Scones. Oh My!

The seasonal pies are the go-to baked good, but there are also ice creams, cookies, scones, and much more. The coffees and baked goods are offered in other stores through wholesale partnership as well, but if purchased in store, Tandem is newly striving to rid of singular-use items such as straws and cups.

As of 2019, they reduced all beverage prices by twenty-five cents, and now charge that amount for a to-go cup. They hope to motivate people not only to be conscious of their impact on the environment, but also to enjoy things in the moment, rather than on-the-go. Plus, at the roastery, you can sit and watch them cup and roast on Fridays, for free.

Address

122 Anderson St, or 742 Congress St, Portland, Maine, 04101