We found ourselves in Rockford, IL over the weekend, and needed good coffee badly. “What makes that different than any other day that ends in ‘Y’?” You ask? Since we don’t frequent that area, we weren’t sure where we could find good coffee. We read the stories about Starbucks pulling out of Rockford because they could not compete with the strong independent coffeehouses there, and we were hoping to find one of those very diamonds. After failing on our first attempt to locate said good local java, we stumbled upon Meg’s Daily Grind (http://www.megs-daily-grind.com/).
Meg’s Daily Grind has 2 locations. We visited the N Alpine Rd location (http://www.megs-daily-grind.com/stores-and-hours/), but almost couldn’t find it, as it was tucked behind a Walgreen’s Pharmacy. Talk about a hidden gem.
We walked in to a quiet Meg’s Daily Grind, and weren’t sure what to expect. It was a suburban espresso experience. The colors were soft and warm, and the cafe’ was split into 2 distinct areas, drink prep and sitting area. Actually, the drink staging area had 2 espresso bars to accommodate high traffic times. The layout also works to separate the sit down versus drive-thru crowds.
Sarah, Sam, and Haddie worked the behind the counter, and all were friendly. Sarah was our barista; Sam worked the drive-thru, and Haddie worked the register. Our order was fairly simple; 2 lattes, one with 2% and 1 with soy milk. The large lattes were priced in-line with the industry at $3.97 each. Whille Sarah worked the bar, we went off to the explore the cafe’ side of Meg’s Daily Grind.
As we turned away we perused the merchandise on display. Everything from an assortment of mugs (sit down and travel styles) to whole bean Meg’s Daily Grind Coffee was available for sale.
We didn’t see a roaster on-site, so we believe they buy coffee from a local roaster.
The cafe’ inside of Meg’s Daily Grind was warm and inviting. Paintings like this adorned the walls. There was seating for 40-50 comfortably, and there was the typical subtle hum of laptops as several cloud-based types worked away.
The two greatest assets that Meg’s had (especially for bibliophiles) was the loaded bookshelf and the fireplace right next to it. Just the thought of this place midwinter with a hot beverage in hand made us feel warm and fuzzy. we’d bet you a coffee that we could lose many afternoons in our favorite book.
We wish there was more time to explore, relax and take in the environment. What is the hum of the cafe’ when busy? Is it an electronic hum? Is it a book loving deafening silence, with the occasional slurp of coffee?
Short on time, we headed back over to the espresso bar to pick up our drinks. We took a sip of the lattes before we left. They were okay. Nothing truly grabbed us good or bad. It was more a statement about our lack of time than the drinks themselves. We would like to go back to Meg’s Daily Grind under different time constraints. That would definitely help us maximize the coffee experience as well as the friendly faces.