Posts Tagged ‘alexandra barrett’

Really Good Coffee is Boca Grande

Really Good Coffee is Boca Grande

If you happen to be in need of a tongue teasingly delicious cup of espresso and are standing right in front of Cafe Boca, the newest and best place for coffee in Boca Grande, Florida.

Boca Grande is the sort of exclusive island resort that you would never know about unless you had reason to be there. Breathtakingly beautiful, the water is truly aqua green and cleaner than the Caribbean.

The people who vacation there have every reason to expect the only REAL coffee shop in town to be the very best for many miles around and it most certainly is.

It may even be the best coffee in the entire state of Florida, from what we have tasted so far.

Owned and managed by a unique boomer couple; Patty, The Personal Growth Diva, and Buzz, the Barista who is a former construction professional of many years and a “never say die” musician and singer, Cafe Boca is a great place to hang out in charming downtown Boca Grande.

I would not say that if it were not for the fact that it is the very best cup of espresso and the very best latte’ we have had since we came to Florida two years ago.

We were stunned and completely surprised.

Naturally, we had to investigate the coffee immediately and found it to be one we had never tasted, and now will never forget, called Counter Culture. The Counter Culture Espresso La Forza, in the style of  Southern Italy, is so delicious that Michael is going to do an entire blog post on that, but in the meantime, his comment about the dopio Buzz pulled for him was:

“This is the kind of espresso that makes me want to have a really long tongue just to get all the crema from inside the bottom of the cup.”  – Michael Barrett 

OKAY! Well, how does it get any better than that? Since our stay in Boca Grande is over, we are still thinking about that incredibly delicious espresso and latte’. I would love one right now! I did get a little video of the Cafe Boca and I hope you can get the sense of how charming the area is.

It costs five dollars to enter the island but what a wonderful place to go shop, have lunch, submerge yourself in beachy luxury, and have a divine cup of really good coffee at Cafe Boca. Ladies and couples…go for it! By the way, everyone drives their golf carts there, hangs out chatting, and walks everywhere, so do plan to take your time and ENJOY!

I am Alexandra Barrett and I love Really Good Coffee.

Really Good Coffee at Big E’s Sweets & Gourmet Coffee in Sarasota

Big E’s Sweets & Gourmet Coffee is a real college coffeehouse hangout in Sarasota, Florida.

Internet, food, friends, and of course, lots of conversation for the homesick art students at the Ringling School of Art which is right across the street.  Late hours, large round tables that you can pile books on, and great coffee for the college crowd palate. Perfect. 

orange_coffee_cupBig E aka Eric – is like the Godfather of the neighborhood in the nicest of ways because he makes sure the students eat egg sandwiches and milk often enough that he knows they are getting their nutrition while in his care. Eric would never let a student starve. It just isn’t in him and everyone loves the guy. Eric carries a great selection of homemade sandwiches, soup, pizza, and other healthy food made fresh for starving students. It’s much better than Micky D’s. 

A good selection of gourmet coffee and tea provides something for every palate. Cold drinks and milk are very popular along with hot pie a la mode. No smoking and no drinking permitted on the premises. Eric and staff run a clean shop and we would never have spent so much time there if that were not true. 

Big E’s Can Use Some More Used PC’s…

WIFI is available. Bring your laptop and your appetite.  Big E’s only has two personal computers available to use in his unique cyber cafe and Eric does not charge for the use. That is a rarity!  If you know anyone with a better than average and relatively new computer to donate; I am sure he would be glad to have it.  Students are always waiting to get on and check email from home, do research, or see what’s going on for the weekend. Many students have laptops but actually lots don’t have them and the computers are always in demand.

Wouldn’t it be great to see a flurry of donations from someone who really understands how crucial it is and how much it would help to have a few more? I remember how good it felt to get out of a dorm to work sometimes.

There is lots of parking at Big E’s and the lot in back is large and safe. Actually, the entire area is safe and there are kids walking back and forth constantly.  Food takeout is a frequent demand…what are they feeding those poor kinds across the street??  They are always hungry when they come in.  Last summer Eric started making his own pizza’s with a little help from the students who surely all want to be coffeehouse entrepreneurs when they finish art school and deck their own walls!  Naturally, the walls at Big E’s are covered in art renderings of all kinds. More than anything else, Big E’s is about comfort and camaraderie.

Last summer, on Sundays, Michael and Alexandra did a morning meditation for the students and some of them actually got up and came out every Sunday. True, that all they had to do was walk across the street but they did. They got up and came. We really enjoyed leading the meditation, and it gave purpose to our coffee hour on Sunday mornings.  Eric is off on Sunday but his staff of young art students were helpful and interested in knowing more about how to meditate. We described it as ignoring the mind chatter and listening for God.  It is a worthwhile reason to get up on Sundays.  Even some of the local adults came to meditate with us.

Big E’s was Eric’s dream when he came to Sarasota from a corporate layoff in Michigan or Ohio, I forget which, but he found a purpose and a family of students who really appreciate the comfort and ambiance of Big E’s, their home away from home. 

Large umbrellas and tables are in front of the store and you can almost always see a collection of bikes chained up while the owners get their fix on some hot caffeine to boost the mind between classes. It is a healthy, clean place where students can really relax and be themselves.  Parents can even send money to bank a tab for food when their students are broke. The place is clean and the crowd is intelligent. Students exchange info about local house-shares and rentals, yoga classes, music, art-art-art, and love. There is a lot of creativity happening at Big E’s and the laughs relax everyone. It is exactly the kind of place I’d like my daughter to hang at while going to school away from home.  We appreciate the way Eric looks out for everyone.

Stop in an grab a hot cup of French Roast or Colombian and check it out.

Big E’s

2805 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34234

941-355-4432

P.S. They will even put some water outside for the dog!

I AM Alexandra Barrett

Really Good Coffee at Big E’s Sweets & Gourmet Coffee in Sarasota

Big E’s Sweets & Gourmet Coffee is a real college coffeehouse hangout in Sarasota, Florida.

Internet, food, friends, and of course, lots of conversation for the homesick art students at the Ringling School of Art which is right across the street.  Late hours, large round tables that you can pile books on, and great coffee for the college crowd palate. Perfect. 

orange_coffee_cupBig E aka Eric – is like the Godfather of the neighborhood in the nicest of ways because he makes sure the students eat egg sandwiches and milk often enough that he knows they are getting their nutrition while in his care. Eric would never let a student starve. It just isn’t in him and everyone loves the guy. Eric carries a great selection of homemade sandwiches, soup, pizza, and other healthy food made fresh for starving students. It’s much better than Micky D’s. 

A good selection of gourmet coffee and tea provides something for every palate. Cold drinks and milk are very popular along with hot pie a la mode. No smoking and no drinking permitted on the premises. Eric and staff run a clean shop and we would never have spent so much time there if that were not true. 

Big E’s Can Use Some More Used PC’s…

WIFI is available. Bring your laptop and your appetite.  Big E’s only has two personal computers available to use in his unique cyber cafe and Eric does not charge for the use. That is a rarity!  If you know anyone with a better than average and relatively new computer to donate; I am sure he would be glad to have it.  Students are always waiting to get on and check email from home, do research, or see what’s going on for the weekend. Many students have laptops but actually lots don’t have them and the computers are always in demand.

Wouldn’t it be great to see a flurry of donations from someone who really understands how crucial it is and how much it would help to have a few more? I remember how good it felt to get out of a dorm to work sometimes.

There is lots of parking at Big E’s and the lot in back is large and safe. Actually, the entire area is safe and there are kids walking back and forth constantly.  Food takeout is a frequent demand…what are they feeding those poor kinds across the street??  They are always hungry when they come in.  Last summer Eric started making his own pizza’s with a little help from the students who surely all want to be coffeehouse entrepreneurs when they finish art school and deck their own walls!  Naturally, the walls at Big E’s are covered in art renderings of all kinds. More than anything else, Big E’s is about comfort and camaraderie.

Last summer, on Sundays, Michael and Alexandra did a morning meditation for the students and some of them actually got up and came out every Sunday. True, that all they had to do was walk across the street but they did. They got up and came. We really enjoyed leading the meditation, and it gave purpose to our coffee hour on Sunday mornings.  Eric is off on Sunday but his staff of young art students were helpful and interested in knowing more about how to meditate. We described it as ignoring the mind chatter and listening for God.  It is a worthwhile reason to get up on Sundays.  Even some of the local adults came to meditate with us.

Big E’s was Eric’s dream when he came to Sarasota from a corporate layoff in Michigan or Ohio, I forget which, but he found a purpose and a family of students who really appreciate the comfort and ambiance of Big E’s, their home away from home. 

Large umbrellas and tables are in front of the store and you can almost always see a collection of bikes chained up while the owners get their fix on some hot caffeine to boost the mind between classes. It is a healthy, clean place where students can really relax and be themselves.  Parents can even send money to bank a tab for food when their students are broke. The place is clean and the crowd is intelligent. Students exchange info about local house-shares and rentals, yoga classes, music, art-art-art, and love. There is a lot of creativity happening at Big E’s and the laughs relax everyone. It is exactly the kind of place I’d like my daughter to hang at while going to school away from home.  We appreciate the way Eric looks out for everyone.

Stop in an grab a hot cup of French Roast or Colombian and check it out.

Big E’s

2805 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34234

941-355-4432

P.S. They will even put some water outside for the dog!

I AM Alexandra Barrett

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