One-time barista Liz Goulding drinks coffee around Dallas so her head doesn't hurt and so she can help keep yours from hurting, too. Got a place to suggest? Leave it in the comments.
When I arrived at on a weekday afternoon, Mudsmith, the eight-month-old coffee shop on Greenville, only had two open tables. But the bar had plenty of seats, so after I talked myself out of a pastry and ordered my Americano, I claimed my spot there.
A few minutes later the barista brought me my drink. It came in a heavy black mug, no saucer. I took a sip, and thankfully my worst espresso fear did not come true: it did not taste like ash in my mouth, which is a more common experience than it should be. (I'm looking at you, Bolsa Mercado.)
But it was a little burnt. Next time, I'll probably go back to a pour over (single cup brewing method) or plain old drip coffee. I have had both before at Mudsmith and prefer them to the Americano.
If coffee isn't your thing, there are a lot of other things to pour down your throat there, including beer, kombucha and fresh juice. In case you get hungry there are premade (but not in the 7-11 kind of way) sandwiches and those aforementioned pastries.
As I drank my coffee, Garold LaRue from Ft. Worth's Avoca Coffee was holding staff training. His beard reminded me to add another mark to my beard tally. After LaRue wrapped up, some of the employees stuck around to chat about the training, which mostly involved catching up the ones that got lost partway through the meeting. Later, off the clock, there was a discussion about when it is appropriate to use the word "epic."
Mudsmith's décor is Hunting Lodge Noir; the walls have eyes, if only because there are animals mounted all over the place. The music selection was Best of 2010. That's not a bad thing. The time before this visit it was 90's Hip Hop. Also not a bad thing.
Mudsmith is an interesting mix of a certain-type-of-person-that-I-will-not-call-hipster-because-that-word-is-dead and other people that feel comfortable around the first group of people. It's the kind of place you want to visit and then stay for a while, because it feels inviting and detached all at the same time. You'll overhear someone talking about how Dallas is a legitimately great place to live, and then five minutes later another person is discussing his impending move to Williamsburg (this really happened).
Mudsmith has plenty of seating and a bajillion outlets for all your charging needs. I spied lots of roving professionals and semi-professionals. Half the people that were there when I arrived were still sitting in front of their computers two hours later typing away like the slaves to the new economy that they are. As I was about to leave, a guy ordered a red-eye (espresso + cup of coffee) and a 9.8% ABV beer, so I decided to stick around for a little while to see if he exploded.
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If you would rather sit outside, there is a front patio facing Greenville Avenue along with plenty of bike parking. That day the rack had five bikes on it, and kudos to those people because it was 157 outside. One of the bikes was a double decker, which has always been a point of confusion for me. I don't understand their purpose or how you get on one.
When I realized that guy was not going to explode, I stopped by the bathroom. If you are on psychoactive drugs of any kind DO NOT GO IN THERE. I'm pretty sure the walls would eat you and you would never come out.
Mudsmith by the numbers Epic beards/mustaches: 7 Epic beards combined with awesome bandana headband: 2 Bikes: 5, including a double decker Bible studies or conversations involving church: 1
This coffee shop is good for: - Taking the edge off your Trader Joe's visit (because we all know there is no beer there) - People who can't make it all the way to the Pearl Cup without caffeine - Working on your creative startup - Eavesdropping on/conversing with baristas - When you aren't sure if you want to drink something good or bad for you - Animal lovers/haters