Yes. It’s November 3.
Yes. It’s Iowa.
Would you believe eating supper outside at a coffee shop in Ames?
Stomping Grounds on the corner of Welch and Hunt Streets is on a main walking thoroughfare for thousands of students every day. Yes, you can sit outside and that’s exactly what we did.
Hint: don’t look for a sign on the building, look for the metal bistro tables and chairs on the patio.
It’s a coffee shop, but also has menu of crepes, panini, soups, and salads. My daughter, with an eternal sweet tooth, ordered the banana and Nutella crepe. I was hungry so ordered the Crepe Monsieur – stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese and béchamel sauce, baked with a slice of tomato and served with fresh green salad. The dressing? A house dressing “secret recipe” which was delicious!
The dessert menu includes the sweet crepes, crème brulee, carrot cake, and a very decadent looking chocolate layer cake. An extensive range of loose leaf teas, coffee from around the world, smoothies, ales ,and wines rounded out the menu.
When it got too cool and my daughter had to get back to work, I moved inside. Local artwork adorns the walls in an ever-changing display, according to the waitress. Soft music filled the air, but as the evening continued, the tables were filled with students on their laptops, a group of girlfriends gathered for a surprise birthday party and a lot of laughs and a few on their own. Since I had a drive ahead of me, I ordered a cup of latte mocha, which didn’t disappoint.
The staff was energetic, not stressed and seemed to enjoy their work, which makes it more enjoyable for friends to catch up or work on projects together.
If the weather stays nice, enjoy the outside. But when it gets colder, which we Iowans know it will, the inside will be warm and inviting!