As I stroll through the village of Saranac Lake, a virtual Norman Rockwell or Currier & Ives painting, I keep waiting for the horse-drawn sleigh to pass by — the passengers in stocking caps and mittens, colorful quilts piled on top of them.
The horse-drawn sleigh never materializes, I shiver and zip up, and one word comes to mind — coffee.
Where The Warmth Is
The cafe, for me, is my home away from home, and when I take that first sip, my mind warms and a nostalgic sort of mini-memoir comes over me as I reflect on places and people that have touched me.
Luckily, Saranac Lake has several fabulous choices in which I can indulge my coffee cravings.
The service at Left Bank Cafe is warm, polite, professional. Just outside the window, snow flies, the Left Branch of the Saranac River flows, as does the Dark Roast Sumatra. Soon I take that first big bite of deliciousness. Their butter croissants are astonishingly flaky, the mark of a true croissant. My entire front is covered with an edible crusty shrapnel - perfection!
Next up is Origin Coffee, one of the numerous charming storefronts that downtown Saranac Lake provides to visitors.
A true vintage coffee house experience, Origin’s upper deck dining area gives you a view of the winter you escaped. A dream-like haze encompasses the room.
Here, I capture an unsuspecting gentleman of leisure; contemplating, pondering, reminiscing — coffee breeds deep introspection. My mocha makes me enjoy thinking, and Origin’s pecan sticky buns sweeten up any day.
I walk up the street. "One must get cold to get warm here," at least that's what I tell myself.
The Blue Moon Cafe — tucked away to the left in the below picture — is cute, charming, and bursting with house-made goodness. Fulfillment is found here.
I try my hand at a self-blend and mix their Deep Woods Dark Roast with their Bavarian Chocolate coffees, the cream is added — lots of cream mind you - and, I must say, it is wonderful to be right. Full-flavored, creamy chocolate coffee. I add one of their fresh baked scones to my order. This tastes like home. Blue Moon Cafe has it all, does it all, from their own in-house bakery to their own coffee roasting brand, Cold River Coffee.
Nori’s Village Market specializes in local organic and natural provisions, and some of those provisions are —you guessed it — coffees and pastries. Let's repeat: from organic coffees and teas, to gluten-free, vegan, and gourmet baked goods, Nori’s has got you covered.
There are lots of cozy nooks in which to eat and drink and take advantage of the wifi. For those with a sweet tooth, we suggest the homemade ginger spice cake or raspberry Almond shortbread accompanied by a unique coffee flavor such as Bird Of Paradise, Midnight Sun, or Mind-Body-Soul. Nori’s has got you covered no matter your tastes, inclinations, or dietary needs.
Slightly off the beaten path
The snowy weather this week had me in a mood for a wintery scenic drive, so I veered off the flight path and found myself at the Lake Clear airport, but not for a flight, my destination was none other than the ADK Cavu Cafe — they have great coffee!
Homemade, thoughtfully prepared great things pass through that window from the kitchen to the dining area, it’s like a portal to yummy.
After adding cream to my hot coffee (again, lots of cream), and taking the first sip, I rave to my companion about the simplicity of coffee brewing. Just then, my dessert is set before me — pear blueberry crumble ala mode. Vanilla bean ice cream for breakfast, in winter time, in the Adirondacks, why not?
Meanwhile, back in Saranac Lake, the Lakeview Deli, stands proudly during a snow shower. The building has lovely straight lines and a charm that invites you inside to indulge and hug a cup of their robust, rich coffee while biting into the best homemade pies and fruit bread around.
With ample parking in both front and back, the aptly named Lakeview Deli provides astonishingly beautiful views no matter the season.
As I have experienced firsthand, warmth and sweetness, freshness and goodness, coziness and beauty, are all attainable and served up here in a cozy small village atmosphere. We're ready to make you feel right at home — in our Adirondack home.
This week in related ADK happenings: