This past Saturday I met a friend for breakfast at a new coffee shop I'd been waiting to try. Roast Rider sits in the corner of Hilltop Shopping Center. As I walked in, glistening marble-like floors met my suede boots. The large windows invited the sun in, almost making me feel like summer might be right around the corner. I made my way toward the counter.
The menu was simple and clean, much like the decor. There were expected items like espresso, cappuccino, lattes and tea, as well as the not-so-conventional affogato (a delicious contraption of homemade gelato with espresso generously poured over) and a trifecta option (a brewing method that claims to surpass my beloved French press). Homemade syrups of vanilla, caramel and pumpkin caramel kept me busy as I navigated from the chalkboard menu to the glass cases displaying croissants and quiches.
After much pondering, I decided on a pumpkin caramel cappuccino (the barista said pumpkin caramel syrup was her manager's favorite). I ordered a spinach quiche, which was baked at the Artisan's Bakery and Café in neighboring Portsmouth.
The café offers an ample amount of seating without overcrowding the space. I sat in a cushioned wicker swivel chair in the sun. My cappuccino arrived promptly, with art—I always find it a treat to find foam art decorating my espresso. The pumpkin caramel syrup was subtle but present. It didn't steer from the espresso bite, which is of course my favorite part. The quiche was superb. Its cheese, egg and spinach filling was perfectly held in a moist but sturdy crust. I was pleased that the crust did its job and was not overbearing, like some quiches I've come across. A mouth full of crust is certainly no one's friend.
The swanky, big band tunes chimed in between the steaming and frothing sounds that are oh-so-soothing on their own. Chatter was at a low—people were likely catching up on some reading before they spent the 60-degree day outdoors. A vibrant mural lined the wall while a gorgeous, deep brown leather couch sat beneath. Much of the furniture and dishes were white, which gave a crisp complement to its beachesque undertones of this quaint, stylish coffee shop. Roast Rider was a refreshing escape from the chain coffee shops, and I'm excited to venture again into this local spot.