I hate to say it but we have walked by Ironsmith Coffee Roasters a million times and never knew it was there. In fact, we thought we were trying a brand new place and were excited to have the skinny on it. They have been open for almost three years! Wait…what?! When walking south on the 101, you could literally walk right by it without noticing it, so look for this mural, and you will know you found it.
Ironsmith generally carries Prager Brothers breads (local and organic), but on Sunday mornings, Wayfarer Bread sets up a pop-up bakery. Wayfarer Bread is just starting out, baking their product in a friend’s pizza kitchen in North Park, and bringing them here much to our delight.
If you get there early enough, here is what the display case will look like.
All I saw was “Sprouted Seeded Rye Loaf”. Are you kidding me? The hearty, seedy, healthiness of this bread was right up our alley and we wanted to order a loaf to go. “Half or whole loaf?” we were asked. Come on, do we look like a half-loaf kind of couple? We will take the WHOLE loaf.
The Potato, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese tarts looked outstanding.
Although the Ethiopian and Colombian coffees sounded enticing, I was yearning for something different. I looked at their “Trademark” menu and found exactly what I wanted. What I needed. What I craved for without even knowing it. Turmeric Ginger Latte, hot please! Trying to stay away from dairy, I asked for it made with coconut milk. I was told they don’t have that but can make it with either almond milk or oat milk. (I’m sorry, what kind of coffee place here, in San Diego, doesn’t carry coconut milk? Have you been hiding under a rock? Coconut EVERYTHING is what we want!). I was going with an adventurous drink already, so I decided to try something new and gave the oat milk a go.
We waited at our tiny outside table for the latte and slices of bread to be toasted. When they arrived, it was perfection!
The Sprouted Seeded Rye Loaf was everything we had hoped for. It was dense, and earthy with a heavy rye flavor. Hubby said it is the best bread he has ever had! I’m sure he meant after my home made bread. The latte was unbelievable! We all know how good turmeric is for us. We all know we are supposed to be incorporating it into our daily diet, but frankly, it has a very strong flavor and doesn’t go with everything. But it certainly goes into a warmed drink! The fresh ginger and cracked pepper on top gives it a nice bite, but that oat milk makes it a creamy, dreamy cup of wonderfulness. I only wish that there was a bit of coffee mixed in to get my morning buzz. I’m sure I would have been a nicer companion to hang out with this early with a bit of caffeine. But otherwise, this is my new favorite hot drink. It is that good! Oat milk, you just kicked coconut’s round, hairy arse! If you are still on the fence, ask for a sample before you order, then you will be hooked!
We brought home a Ham & Cheese Croissant for our youngest who couldn’t be bothered to wake up and have a nice morning walk with us.
I forced him (yes, physically, you have a problem with that?) to share a bite with me.
Wow, was it good! I especially love the Gruyere cheese choice, which gives a perfect creamy middle to the crunchy outside shell. Forget that healthy seeded bread thingy I was talking about, I want more of this buttery, gluttonous croissant! No chance.
Now we have a cute place on the 101 selling coffee and specialty drinks, with breads and pastries. But there are soooo many of these types of places on the 101! Why come here over Lofty, or Better Buzz, or any number of other coffee places like this? We met John and Bill, two coffee drinking locals, and asked them. (Should I mention that these guys are hot? Single ladies, you might want to start taking a morning trip to Ironsmith!)
“It’s the vibe here. Sure, the location is great, but we don’t want the long line at Lofty (West) and really like the feel of this place”. I took a deeper look around. I noticed that most people coming in were greeted by first name by the baristas. I appreciated the local artists’ work decorating the walls. I noticed that many of the folks here already knew each other. I was starting to get it. Ironsmith has a very familiar, comfortable feel to it.
Ironsmith is a hidden gem. They don’t really have a breakfast menu, but the pastries and breads they do have are delicious. Although the Sprouted Seeded Rye Loaf was loved by us, it wasn’t exactly considered kid-friendly with our youngest. He preferred the Ham & Cheese Croissant, and with good reason- it rocked! I heard all the coffee here is great, but if you need a healthy pick-me-up, or just want to try something new, order the Turmeric Ginger Latte with oat milk. We were told the on-tap Kombucha are great, but we couldn’t do it all with one go. We will just have to come back!
Next week’s blog is at Filiberto’s Mexican Food which happens to be next door to Raul’s Mexican Food. We will be meeting there on Sunday, October 1st, at 6:00pm and will conduct a blind taste test between the two! Meet us there, chip in $5 and join the fun!