With two locations in Cleveland, Erie Island Coffee Company is a sort of corner coffee shop concept with two very different iterations; the downtown one is much more of a metropolitan caffeine spot, right in the middle of the Gateway District, one of the city’s hottest streets for city nightlife. It serves a bunch of different kinds of coffee drinks first thing in the morning as the rest of the shops in the area aren’t open, and it also serves some paninis and sandwiches to go along with. Its the kind of place where you’ll see a lot of people, mostly early-risers, gathering in groups to enjoy a chat.
I like the coffee, the shop makes a point to specialize in different combinations you might not expect. It regularly changes up its menu with another flavor from a different source, and the new signature blend is a combination of four kinds of beans; in all the beans come from all over the word; from Sumatra to Ireland, Costa Rica to Colombia. Try it in espresso, macchiato, latte, or one of the various other forms, it’s a blend that has a bit of an aftertaste to it, like the beans are almost smoky.
The two locations have generally similar specific menus, and in general both feature heavily a number of soups, salads, sandwiches, and paninis. I sampled the bacon, egg and cheese panini, a great breakfast dish, the eggs are cooked well, and of course it’s hard to go wrong with bacon and cheese. I was also a fan of the veggie hummus crush, which had spinach and cheese, but the flavor of the hummus was lost a little. That’s a shame too, because it seems like it would go so well with the other flavors.
The ambiance counts for a lot in a coffee shop like this, and this one has a nice feel to it. It’s smaller and more crowded than some of the others around town; located in the heart of downtown you’ll find it’s the kind of place that is great to take friends to chat but not so great to do some reading or anything that involves a lot of space. In the end, though, it’s worth trying at least once, if for no other reason to enjoy some of that pungent coffee.
- You can buy bags of the different blends of coffee, which is neat, but what’s better is that the place seems to regularly change up the exact kinds of coffee you can buy; it seeks different sources so you can try a lot of blends and see what you like.
- The two locations have different hours from day to day, but in general both open at 7 or 8 a.m. and close around 9 or 10 p.m. most days. Check the website for specifics.
- This is a nice place to relax with people, but it can be a little crowded if you’re planning to stick around a long time or do something like read.