Coffee Shop Hop — Sunday Review Series #2

Having recently moved back to Fayetteville, I had no idea where to get the best cup ‘o joe. I had in my mind a quaint and quirky joint with just the right amount of espresso flavored air, indie art, and cushy chairs to sit in while enjoying a cup of coffee and some local flair. For me, where I consume my coffee goes hand-in-hand with where I do my reading and writing. And so, my hunt ensued.

My second stop?

Mama Carmen’s (closed on Sundays, so I went Saturday morning)

RaeleighReads rating: 5 out of 5 coffee cups

Walking into Mama Carmen’s was like a breath of fresh air! Here I found that cute, indie coffee shop that I’ve been looking for. I was greeted with a background of grays, blacks, whites, and rich, natural wood colors. The bar where you order is right in front of the door, with the menu clearly displayed behind. You can order drip coffee, espresso drinks, cold brews, teas, and smoothies. They even have a delicious looking menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads! Score!

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I ordered a regular drip coffee, which smelled heavenly, and sat down in a little reading nook with gray, tweed chairs, a small wooden side table, and bookshelves (with books!!!). The delightful sounds of Passion Pit are playing in the background, the lighting is dim, but adequate (they’ve placed sun screens on the windows), and a few patrons dot the landscape.

Initial thoughts:

  • My coffee is yummy! It’s not your typical brew — the taste is sharp and a little tangy, but it is a welcome change from the burnt bean flavor of my usual cup ‘o joe (ahem * – bucks).
  • I tried my friend’s Caramel White Chocolate Mocha, and that was really good too. If you like really sweet, creamy drinks then you will probably like it too.

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  • Regular drip coffee is just the right price ($2), but some of the other drinks, like my friends Caramel White Chocolate Mocha, can get a little pricey. Sandwiches and salads are moderately priced, in the $6-$8 range.
  • The staff was polite but not overly helpful. If you’re shy, let that go and ask for what you need!
  • I am in love with the seating in this place. There are your more traditional wooden tables and chairs, there are little booths that block out the view on three sides, there is the reading nook I am in, and there is a whole separate room away from where you order filled with additional seating and a stage area that I’m guessing is used for live entertainment 🙂
  • Do you need to plug in your laptop? Well, you’ve come to the right place! There are plenty of outlets — that makes this writer’s heart happy.
  • Patronage seems a little slow today even though it is a Saturday. Fayetteville is a college town and most of the students are gone for the summer so I can only imagine what this place looks like when classes are in full swing.
  • Music choice is everything, and Mama Carmen’s seems to just “get me” if you know what I mean. Every song that has come through the speakers is something I listen to regularly.

Verdict:

  • I will definitely be coming here again. I can see this becoming my place — for writing, for reading, for hanging out with friends, and obviously for drinking coffee.
  • If you like a laid-back vibe, good coffee, a simple menu, plenty of seating and outlets, then you will like Mama Carmen’s. Go check it out!

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