Several weeks ago, I noticed a new coffee shop that opened on Willamette between 13th and 14th avenues. The name of the place is “Perk.” I had been meaning to give a try for some time, but thus far had passed it over, heading for Midtown (I refuse to call it “June”) instead. Midtown is a comforting haunt for me. The fireplace makes it cozy during the chilly months – read: almost every morning of the year – and it is full of happy memories of early morning chats with an extremely dear friend.
This morning was one of my troublesome ones. Despite going to bed early, my ambitious plan to get up before six and go jogging (for the first time in a long time) fell through because when the alarm went off it was finally cool enough to get under the blankets and I decided my cozy time was more important.
This of course led to the dreaded “snoozing” of the alarm. The snoozing ceased at 7:50 a.m. That is late. There was no time to make coffee, and I require coffee every weekday morning to be even remotely sociable at work. After making myself as presentable as possible in five minutes, I grabbed my bag and left the house.
But what about my coffee?! The coffee shop closest to my office is closed these days because classes are not in session so I would have to get something on the way. Then I remember Perk. Today was the day to try it out.
Vaguely conscious of my surroundings, I rode my Schwinn down to the shop. In my un-caffeinated state it felt like there was a haze between me and the barista, who smiled pleasantly enough at me from behind the counter.
“I’ll have a 16 oz coffee, please. And . . . ”
“Will that be to go?”
I hovered over the pastry case. There was a big quiche, a pie, and several separate plates with delectables like almond croissants, berry scones, and cookies. There was something very familiar about the savory croissants.
“Say,” I asked, “Are these pastries from Eugene City Bakery?”
“Yes, they are,” replied the kindly barista. Eugene City Bakery! The place I love to go for pastry! Omigosh!
I continued to hover and peer into the case trying to decide between a plain croissant and the one filled with ham and cheddar.
“I’ll take . . .” Sleepy pause. “Ummm . . . I’m sorry I’m taking so long.”
“Hey, no worries.” The sympathetic coffee man must see a lot of foggy customers muddling through their pre-caffeine moments each day.
Finally, I settled on the plain croissant.
He rang me up, gave me the goods, and got out the cream for me. I added that to my coffee and went over the counter top where the sugar was, just to get a pinch. But in my haze (coffee had not yet touched my lips), my depth perception failed and I bashed my cup against the counter, spilling coffee all over it and the floor.
Once again, I was treated with sweet patience. The barista came out from behind the bar, helped swab up the mess, and topped off my coffee again. I managed to depart without further incident.
Why is this a “dangerous” discovery? Because now I know there is a place to get Eugene City pastries on my way to the office!!!!!!!
For those readers who live in Eugene, I highly recommend stopping into Perk. It’s atmosphere is clean but different from the other coffee shops I frequent. I can definitely vouch for the amiability of the staff, who had authentic smiles and friendly demeanors without being annoyingly sunny or overbearing.
Sixteen ounces of coffee later, the clouds obscuring my perception have lifted and I’ve got zing for the rest of the morning.
Perk’s website is http://www.perkespresso.com. They are located at 1351 Willamette Street.