Just when we thought the 700 block of West Main Street couldn’t get any more delicious, with Pearl’s Bake Shoppe, JM Stock Provisions, Bella’s Restaurant and Doma Korean Kitchen all in a row, it’s gotten even tastier (and a bit more energetic).
Snowing in Space Coffee Co. opened last week at 705 W. Main St., in the spot formerly occupied by C’ville-ian Brewing Co. This is the first brick-and-mortar location for the nitro coffee slingers who have had their brews on tap at Paradox Pastry and Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen for the past few months.
Co-owner Paul Dierkes says nitro coffee is more like craft beer than brewed coffee—in fact, it’s similar to a Guinness: smooth, thick and creamy. To make nitro coffee, Snowing in Space brews and kegs a large batch of coffee, then slowly pumps nitrogen gas into the keg at a high pressure to agitate the brew before tapping it. It’s generally served cold and tastes great black, but you can add cream and sugar. Snowing in Space has partnered with local bean experts Shenandoah Joe, Trager Brothers Coffee and Shark Mountain Coffee Company on more than six flavors of nitro coffee, and has collaborated with Virginia Distillery Company on a whiskey barrel-aged nitro coffee.
Various flavors of Snowing in Space nitro —such as the caramel-and-vanilla-flavored Nom Nom and the blueberry, cherry and dark chocolate Big Blue Thing—are on tap at the shop, along with a nitro espresso (or, as they call it, Rocket Fuel) that’s used to make hot and cold espresso drinks. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the specialty drinks such as the Dirty ChaIRISH, a chai latte with espresso and Irish cream flavor.
To help stave off caffeine jitters, they’ll have snacks, too, such as cinnamon maple twists, savory stuffed mini croissants, pepperoni rolls and mini beignets from Paradox Pastry, as well as ice cream sandwiches and pop tarts from Wonderment.
While there be sure to check out the giant handmade Lite-Brite on the back wall and the painting of Bill Murray in the bathroom.
How sweet it is
Sweethaus is settling in to its new bigger spot in the IX building, next door to Brazos Tacos. Don’t worry, the bakery still offers its usual treats—full-size and mini cupcakes and coffee, plus jars of pay-by-the-pound chocolate and gummy candies. There’s a big open room where you can enjoy your sweet snack with friends, but if you want a little more privacy, there’s a mezzanine-level nook with sofas and cozy chairs perfect for studying or reading.
Roll with it
Have you ever looked at the buttery, flaky croissants at MarieBette Café & Bakery and wondered, “How do they do that”? Or gazed longingly at the Albemarle Baking Co.’s golden crusted loaves and thought, “I wish I could bake bread like that”? If so, you’re in luck—Sharlene McNeish of LEVAIN Baking Studio can teach you. McNeish has renovated her farm garage in Troy into a baking studio stocked with mixers, dough sheeter, three ovens (including a wood-fired oven) and more, all for the purpose of teaching bakers of all levels how to make pastry and artisan breads. McNeish trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute and is Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli certified. Go to levainbakingstudio.com for more info.