It’s hard not to live in the Twin Cities without developing at least some interest in our local coffee shops. Whether one uses them purely as meeting locales and interview mediums, as study space, or the place to get your daily caffeine fix, we all want to get out and sit on some café chairs with a cup of something in our hands. The culture of it in our downtowns, uptowns, sidetowns, dinkytowns, and countless others, has become the accepted norm. More recently, there was last year's new startup (or perhaps, "re-invention") of Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar.
Owned by Lisa and Andrew Plys, (who previously called the shop Muddsuckers), Black was deemed a better option for their corner cafe. The two decided their simple little "grungy" coffee shop needed some remodeling after four years of not-so-great business. So they set about a full project, not just re-doing the whole space into an open, sleek and modern coffee shop (complete with old barber-style-chairs for sitting at the bar), but also completely ditching their original product offerings.
They connected with the now-famous Dogwood Coffee, exclusively using their beans for all of our caffeinated needs. From Americanos to Lattes to Machiattos to Miels (coffee with quality local honey, it’s a subtle treat I certainly suggest trying once), the coffee is nothing but thrills. While there, my current partner in crime ordered a big jar of iced coffee-- perfect for the hot day ahead.
Perhaps more importantly, Black offers more than just coffee. Now, they have a whole menu full of waffles, with unique fixings. Using a scratch-made batter, every waffle is made to-order, resulting in a thick, fluffy, and crispy dough.
Each waffle is topped with a variety of amazing fresh ingredients, the quality of which the owners put much attention to, cutting and cooking everything in house. These often result in delectable options, like the Apple Strudel (cooked apple, cinnamon, caramel), S’more (chocolate and marshmallows, topped with graham cracker crumb), and of course the signature “Naughty Waffle.” A mound of berries, whipped cream, granola, and a big schmear of almond butter along the waffle all come together in a classic promenade of all the flavors we’re used to in a scrumptious mass. I gobbled it up, completely forgetting the maple syrup until the last few bites.
After only a year with the new look, Black has certainly made quite the impact on the minds of local foodies and coffee lovers alike. The Naughty Waffle even made it into Hot Dish’s 100 Favorites for the year, and with good reason. Whether traveling or in the Dinkytown area, it certainly isn’t a bad idea to stop by and see if Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar should make your list of coffee stops-- it certainly made mine.
Header Photo Credit: Jonathan E. (Yelp) - Mocha w/ Smores Waffle