More than just a good cup of Joe

“Behind every great man, is a great woman,” comes to mind while talking to Brad Gold, owner of Black Dog Coffee.  His wife Evie often helps him create new menu items at his café in the Miracle Mile.

Years ago, while Evie was in Palm Desert with some girlfriends, she dined at a restaurant that served a Black Bean soup for breakfast.  She loved it so much, that she came home and told Brad all about it.  Earlier this year, Evie saw the most beautiful grilled cheese and short rib sandwich gracing the cover of the February 2010 issue of Bon Appetite.  She urged Brad to feature this gourmet delight on his new grilled sandwich menu. With the help of his chef Julio, they followed the recipe from the magazine and then tweaked it before unveiling it to the public five weeks ago.  “Julio and I have been joined at the hip for eleven years,” shared Brad with a smile. 

In October, Black Dog Coffee will be celebrating its twelfth anniversary. Besides serving a great cup of coffee, they also serve breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, and desserts.  It’s known around town as a great lunch spot, but now Brad has extended the hours to accommodate a dinner crowd too.

We started with the signature Café Cubano drink, a latte made with steamed milk and sweetened with a little condensed milk.  With Fall approaching, I opted for the pumpkin spice latte.  It was sweeter than the Café Cubano, but not as sweet as Starbucks.

Next, we had to try the black bean soup. It arrived in a generous sized bowl with pureed black beans and two poached eggs on top, surrounded with cheese, diced tomatoes, onions, sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream.  As my spoon pierced the poached eggs and the yolk oozed out, the soup became a visual rainbow in a bowl.  It was delicious.

Afterwards, we ordered the grilled cheese and short rib sandwich with jack cheese, pickled onions and arugula.  It’s served with a side of horseradish sauce and wasabi coleslaw.  It was very tasty and meaty, however I wished it had more cheese.

Since they offer a new Hot Dog menu, I filled out an order form for a Turkey Chicago Dog.  “This tastes exactly like a real Chicago Dog from Chicago,” boast Brad.  I wondered if Evie had anything to do with this flavorful item.  The poppy seed bun enhanced the large Turkey dog topped with neon relish (the greenest relish I have ever seen), onion, two tomato spears, sport peppers (spicy, but not too hot) and a dash of celery salt.  It was as good as the dogs they serve in Chicago, if not slightly better.

For those who frequent Black Dog Coffee, a prepaid “top dog” VIP card provides discounts and points for free drinks.

Next to the front door is a large dog water bowl and inside a jar of dog treats.  As I left with a satisfied smile on my face, I grabbed a treat to give to my sweet dog at home and asked Brad how he came up with the name?  “I had a black lab named Poocho, he passed away years ago,” he replied sadly. Poocho may no longer be with us, but Black Dog Coffee is here to stay for a long time.

5657 Wilshire Blvd., (323)933-1976.

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