I’ve been to Lift Coffee Shop three times over the last two years, and none of my visits has been disappointing. This last time was the first time I went for brunch, so I’m glad to finally be able to review it. But I’ll also review the coffee since I’ve had that more times than brunch.
So, anyway, the coffee is good. My first time here I got a hot Americano, which is very not my style since I normally only ordered iced drinks. But it was a cold March day. I was on a date. She had asked me out. Conversation was good. Coffee was better. I never saw her again. Well, at least formally. I’ve run into her once or twice while walking in the Fan, but we just smile and keep walking.
This past summer I met Sara and her family at Tarrant’s Café on Broad for brunch. After brunch, I had a whole day ahead of me and I had no special plans. Instead of driving home to do whatever, I decided to walk down to Lift since I remembered it from over a year ago on my date and I also wanted coffee.
I was totally planning on getting an iced coffee, but then I saw they had a special for a mint julep iced espresso. Well, I’ll be. Yes, I’ll have that. I asked for a triple espresso because, hi, my name is Cazey. For some reason that threw the barista off slightly, but the drink she handed me still was delicious.
The inside of Lift is very Richmond. It’s brightly colored (green) and has whimsical touches. It’s great for the Instas. And outside, on the Broad St. sidewalk, they have a couple of tables and chairs. I sat outside and sipped on my espresso while filtering some Instagrams and deciding what to do next with my life and day.
I think we often forget to explore our own backyards. Having traveled to Europe twice that spring and summer, I loved simply walking around foreign cities and snapping pictures. As I looked around on the sidewalk, I felt that same adventuresome spirit. Also, I was probably feeling the “lift” of caffeine. But I picked myself up and decided to explore Jackson Ward. It didn’t take that long, but I wholly enjoyed my hour of wandering Broad Street and its northern streets. It’s a whole other walk of life from the Fan District, and I’m glad to have explored.
Now onto brunch: last month, my friend came to town for the Lumineers concert, but had to return to DC early the next morning. We got up early for breakfast at Early Bird Biscuit Company. Actually we didn’t get up that early. My alarm went off, I didn’t hear my friend moving, so I turned off my alarm and went back to bed and hoped she didn’t really need to leave that early and/or she’d just leave and we’d skip breakfast and I’d sleep longer. However, that didn’t happen.
We walked over to Early Bird about 9 AM. I thought we’d be early enough to avoid the lines Early Bird is known for her. I’ve yet to eat there mostly because of the line (I don’t wait for food when there’s plenty of great places to eat in this town) and also, slightly, because I’m not a biscuits person (sue me). My friend’s sister and some others were supposed to meet us at Early Bird. We had been in line for ten minutes before they arrived. They promptly saw the line and said, “Do you want to go to Lift?”
At Lift, we ordered and grabbed a table outside. Two of us got the bagels and works ($5.50, $8.50 with lox), the other didn’t order food (or he ate it so fast I didn’t see what he had), and then I got a double egg and cheese croissant ($4.25 I think; I don’t know if that double egg cost me more). I also got an iced coffee. I didn’t even need to add sugar. The other two got lattes, which some of us taste tested and agreed were superb.
Lift isn’t your obvious brunch stop, but you shouldn’t skip over it. The outdoor patio provides all the aesthetics necessary for Snapchat and Instagram (which are paramount to brunching), and the food is mm-mm-mm-MMMMM. I don’t know; I’ve had this thing for croissants ever since going to Europe (I’m not trying to sound pretentious there; it’s just true), and this croissant with the eggs was so good. The eggs also had pepper or something in them, which was a good twist.
So friends, let me know if you want to go to Lift! I might just join you. Or grab a coffee after a regular brunch.