Monday, February 4, 2008

Coffee/Riot: Baked & Wired

Coffee shops, cafes, whatever you prefer to call them, DC has its fair share of spots that serve up the caffeinated, addictive beverage in some form or another. Some are bakeries, others more restaurant-like, and others are self-identified coffee shops. I'll take on the dubious task of chronicling some of my favorite coffee spots in the city. Of course its not a dubious task, but in order to really examine the reasons behind their greatness (as decided by me) of any specific location, I'll deliberately visit each one, including a couple I've never been too, on a quest to uncover what's so unique and cool about them. If you have suggestions, well, suggest away. I know DC residents are sometimes fiercely loyal to their favorite coffee joints, so I'll mostly be heaping praise, and being posi. On the other hand, I appreciate coffee of varying quality, so all you purist can start your own blog. Previous Coffee/Riot posts: Sticky Fingers.

Baked & Wired

My long time favorite Georgetown coffee spot, Baked & Wired is one of the few bearable places to sit and relax on the busy M Street corridor. Located on the quiet Thomas Jefferson Street NW, B & W serves up some of the best coffee I've had in the city. A sign near the cappuccino machine reads: "Yo! It takes time to prepare a quality drink... thanks for understanding." Hear, hear. They always come through on the quality part. And I've never waited an extraordinary amount of time for a drink. The new set up has you ordering your drinks at the coffee bar and crossing a threshold to pay for the drink. This, of course after you've had a chance to peruse the baked offerings.

Like Sticky Fingers, B & W is as known for its baked goods as it is for the coffee. While I drank my unbelievably savory soy latte at the small bar, customer after customer entered and tried to decide which cupcakes to take home. One woman expressed that she deserved a strawberry cupcake after a tough weekend; just one though. Another ordered 5 red velvet (which was the run away favorite that day) for a special occasion, I think a birthday. Mostly everyone who came in appeared to be a regular, although a few, unawares-looking shoppers stopped in and ordered coffee. B & W shares space with a design firm. The bakery recently expanded though and the share is less obvious. Looks and feels better for the change. There are now a few couches and more original art hanging on the walls, with the new bar making it even easier to hang out and read, study, or contemplate the art without being bothered. And like any coffee shop, the staff can make or break a visit. The staff at B & W are pretty awesome. I was treated very well, having my stupid questions about the mango ceylon tea answered nicely (it IS caffeinated). And every indecisive cupcake buyer was treated with patience and non-pretentiousness. A relaxing and simple visit made complete by the quality of the offerings and setting. Thumbs up.

Baked & Wired is located at 1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW. Its open 7 days a week.