...musings of a Scribbling Mother Trucker...

Writer. Mom. Food Truck Follower.

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Republic of Pie - A coffee/cafe review

After my last cafe review, a friend suggested via twitter (@pangni) that I should check out another spot in North Hollywood: Republic of Pie.

I decided to follow up on her lead because…
a) I’m always open to suggestions and
b) if you haven’t figured it out by now, I will never turn down going to a place with “pie” in the name.

My usual caveat: I know nothing about coffee. In fact, the less my beverage tastes like it, the better. I’m a coffee enthusiast’s worst nightmare. Blended? Caramel? Whipped cream? Yes, please. Although, if I’m ever with someone who actually enjoys a well-brewed cup of joe, I’ll include their thoughts as well.

COFFEE HOUSE: Republic of Pie

LOCATION: 1118 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

PHONE: 818-308-7990

WEBSITE: www.republicofpie.com

FACEBOOK: Republic of Pie page

YELP: Reviews

TWITTER: @REPUBLICofPIE — They often tweet photos of their delectable offerings fresh from the oven. You’ve been warned.

PARKING: Metered street. Nearby(ish) neighborhood parking. Make sure you look at street signs, some are only 1 hour parking.

OUTDOOR SEATING: Two small tables with accompanying chairs. See above photo.

INDOOR SEATING: Surprisingly large space with multiple writing areas. There’s a community table towards the back as well as other groupings of tables and chairs. Each segment gives off a different vibe. There are two separate “living room” sections. One is seen below.
WIFI: Free! No password required.

TEMPERATURE: Comfortable. A tad cold, nothing a sweater can’t handle.

AMBIANCE/MUSIC: Jazz music channel on Sirius.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: Many found throughout. But because of how the seating’s arranged (pulled into the center of the room, not just along the wall), you might have to step over the power cords of those using their laptops.

FOOD:
Pie, pie and more pie.

Both savory (ie: chicken pot pie, vegetable quiche) and sweet (ie: banana coconut cream, devil chocolate caramel pecan). I think they have a few other items, but frankly, I didn’t notice. Did I mention they have pie?

MY DRINK:
A hot mocha with REAL whipped cream.

The barista even pulled a beautiful design in it. Unfortunately, because of my incessant need to add whipped cream to everything, you can’t see it. And while the mocha itself was a little strong for my tastes, I still rather enjoyed it. If I were more of a coffee connoisseur, I bet I would’ve thought this was spectacular.

OVERHEARD: “I’m a big picture guy”

THOUGHTS: I’m quite fond of Republic of Pie. While the street parking took some time to figure out (seriously, read the signs), it has easily accessible (indoor!) bathrooms and I really liked the ambiance. The chairs are even cushioned - perfect for those longer writing sessions. Just be warned, this place is becoming very popular, so I would definitely avoid going during meal times. Unless, you know, you’re going there to have a meal.

And, yes, I did order a piece of pie (like there was a chance I wouldn’t).

Filed under cafes north hollywood reviews writing coffee

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Moby’s (aka a new writing spot) - A coffee/cafe review

Walk into any coffee house in the Hollywood area and you’ll inevitably encounter an annoying writer (or two, or a gaggle) hogging a table next to an electrical outlet while furiously typing away on their laptops.

I’m one of those annoying writers.

Because of this, I know how hard it is to find a spot where
a) they don’t mind you hanging out for a few hours
b) you don’t have to fight or pay for parking
and
c) you don’t have to hover near people you think might be finishing their caffeine fix so you can claim the only table near a power supply.

While I frequent the big chain coffee places, I also like to seek out independent shops. Figuring others out there might be in a similar situation, I decided to take notes.

FYI, I know nothing about coffee. In fact, the less my beverage tastes like it, the better. I’m a coffee enthusiast’s worst nightmare. Blended? Caramel? Whipped cream? Yes, please. Although, if I’m ever with someone who actually enjoys a well-brewed cup of joe, I’ll include their thoughts as well.

COFFEE HOUSE: Moby’s (formerly Green Carrot Café)

LOCATION: 5668 Cahuenga Blvd (one blk north of Burbank Blvd at Collins St.)

HOURS: Mon-Fri 7am – 6pm, Sat 8am – 6pm, Sun 9am – 3pm

PHONE: 818-571-9867

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mobyscoffeeco

YELP: http://www.yelp.com/biz/mobys-coffee-and-tea-company-north-hollywood

PARKING: Free storefront parking.

OUTDOOR SEATING: Two little round tables with chairs. To me, this place seems to be more of an indoor facility; I will probably never sit outside.

INDOOR SEATING:

Comfy Chairs (upholstered/lounge): There are two modern upholstered couches, as well as four lounge chairs in two separate areas. Nice and comfy.

Plain Chairs w/tables: A handful of small round tables with chairs. Although two or more people can sit at these tables and socialize, for working or writing purposes, there’s really only enough room for one laptop.

WIFI: Free! It’s password protected so make sure you get it from the person behind the counter.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: These can be found throughout the store. Plus, the owners will help you locate one or re-configure the chair set up to make it easier for you.

TEMPERATURE (inside): Mixed. When the air’s on, it works reeeaaaaalllly well, so bring a sweater, but when it’s off, it can get a little stuffy.

AMBIANCE/MUSIC: There’s music the people working listen to, but it’s not too loud. I’m sure they’ll accommodate you if it bothers you. Or do what most people do: bring earphones.

MY DRINK:
.
Ice blended nonfat mocha with whipped cream
Their blended mochas are made with dark chocolate and a few espresso beans thrown in. Normally, I’m not a fan of dark chocolate, but holy-shut-the-front-door was this thing delicious. Seriously, it was like drinking a caffeinated shake. I know, for true coffee aficionados this is blasphemy, but for me, it’s perfection.


Nonfat mocha latte with whipped cream
Another day I went back and had their hot mocha. It was good, but I definitely prefer the frozen concoction better. I know, heaven forbid a coffee drink taste like coffee (what? I already admitted to being a wuss in this department).

FOOD: If gluten’s your friend, there’s a small selection of bagel/muffin/croissant items.

THOUGHTS: I adore this place. The organic coffee beans they use are roasted two blocks away. If you’re a tea fan, they’re acquiring more and more loose-leaf teas, including white tea, in the upcoming weeks. Plus the new owners, Jen and Patrick, are pretty nifty.

Keep in mind that Moby’s is in an up-and-coming neighborhood in North Hollywood. A bit out of the way, although not too far for those living/working in Burbank or Toluca Lake. The other downside — depending on how you feel about these things, possibly a HUGE downside — there’s NO restroom inside the store. You have to ask for the key and use the one behind a gate a couple of doors down.

So if you find yourself wandering in the Valley needing a caffeine pick-me-up, give Moby’s a try. They even tables with unfinished puzzles on them so you can feel all smart and stuff while waiting for your drink.

Filed under cafes coffee writing reviews

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Mossie Lee’s - A Food Truck Review

Armed with my food truck review guidelines —

a) I have to order a truck’s signature/most popular dish.
b) the bill can’t total more than $10.

— I decided to try:

Mossie Lee’s Southern Cuisine: Tastes so good, makes you wanna kiss ya mama!

website: www.mossielees.com
twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/mossielees/
facebook page

They accept Mastercard/Visa
$10 minimum credit card charge.

According to their menu, they provide “Food for the soul with your heart in mind.” And that they are “professionals from families with Down Home Southern Roots.”

Their most popular dishes:
BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich
Mac N Cheese
Peach Cobbler

My order: BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich w/a side of potato salad
Total: $ 9

Keep in mind that while I do consider myself a somewhat Southern gal (with an Asian flair), I also know that Southern cuisine varies greatly from region to region. So even though I grew up in Texas, the hubs in New Orleans, my Dad’s family in South Carolina, and the hubs’ family in Mississippi, our definitions of barbeque differ. Wildly (wet. dry. don’t even get me started on North Carolina’s version).

Mossie Lee’s? They hail from Arkansas.

Overall:
While I enjoyed everything, I just wished it had more… oomph.

Considering how DIVINE everything smelled coming from the truck, this surprised me. Seriously, the sandwich almost didn’t make it home in one piece.

Don’t get me wrong, the food was pretty darn tasty. The flavors just didn’t linger.

The brisket sandwich possessed so many tantalizing components: incredibly tender meat, savory fatty pieces, smokey charred bits… I kept hoping the sauce would pull it all together. Instead, it was a tad thin and lightweight (again, this could just be a regional thing).

Even the potato salad had the same effect: where I enjoyed the initial bite, only to be left wanting. Then again, everyone seems to have their own favorite version of potato salad. For instance, the way I like mine makes the hubs cringe. What? I like pickles.

Will I go back?

Yes. Because I HAVE to try the peach cobbler and the hubs has already let it be known that he’ll gladly help me dispose of the mac n cheese.

So now I’m curious. Knowing that people can be so passionate and vocal about their style of barbeque and accompanying sides, what are your preferences?

Filed under Food Truck Fridays reviews