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The first place to cross your mind when deciding on a lunch locale may not be a coffee shop, but when you visit The Daily Grind in Statesboro, that Red Hot Cinnamon Latte won’t be the only thing that tempts you. Serving up more than freshly roasted espresso beans, I’m totally impressed by the plates they produce out of that tiny little kitchen, like Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Gouda, Hot Ham and Cheese Croissants, Shrimp and Roasted Corn Soup and an array of other nutrient-packed wraps, inventive salads and flavored teas. Open since 2000, the quaint and cozy hideaway boasts a notable noonday menu, but wait until you discover the 14-layer caramel and chocolate cakes, giant cookies and homemade muffins.
I distinctly remember dining at the coffee shop for lunch one day and ordering a Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap with a Strawberry Salad. When my lunch was served, my knee-jerk reaction was to take out my phone, snap a quick photo and tweet, “This is the kind of pretty little lunch that inspires me to write.” Presentation is everything. At The Daily Grind, they take great care in plating. Whether it’s an oversized coffee mug brimming with fresh whipped cream and steaming hot mocha or a cup of soup, it’s placed on a feminine and delicate doily and served alongside a single napkin-tucked utensil.
Customers drink cold beverages from faux, branded hurricane goblets. While having lunch, one nearby guest commented, “I’ve never felt so elegant drinking Mountain Dew.” It’s these special touches and subtle notes of detail that add to the comfortable home-away-from-home vibe. Customers have their choice of fountain drinks, sweet or unsweetened tea and flavored teas including raspberry, pomegranate, peach, mango, kiwi and, my personal favorite, blackberry. If you’re in the mood for something a little richer, try the Blushing Georgia Peach smoothie. Arabic coffee beans like Pumpkin Pie and Caramel are also roasted in small-batch orders. I personally enjoy the spirited names of the daily coffee flavors like Savannah Pecan and Sinful Pleasures.
The atmosphere sets The Daily Grind apart from other coffee shops in the area. Large area rugs cover the cement floors, two wingback chairs sit directly in front of the fireplace, and a mixture of round and square tables fill the dining room. You can also take a seat on the bar stools and read the morning news, or catch up on your Facebook news feed. No matter where you chose to sit, it’s easy to slip into a corner with a good book and enjoy a cup of joe. A tip jar near the cash register reads, “Thanks a Latte.”
On the menu, you’ll find everything from sandwich baskets to signature salads. Lunch prices vary but average around $10. Located on Savannah Avenue, the coffee shop is open Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live music happens often on Friday night.
As a college student circa 2001, I was a regular at this unique spot. Thirteen years later, that fact hasn’t changed. It’s a place you can find me lunching “a latte.”
Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC's “The Taste,” she blogs at SomeKindaGood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East Coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or search Facebook for Some Kinda Good.