Sunday, June 26, 2011

Best Place to People Watch

So I spent most of the weekend in Garden Valley, and that is always a retreat from technology, hence the lack of blog posts.  However, before I went up there, I spent Saturday morning walking around downtown Boise, and I made sure to stop at Thomas Hammer, dubbed the "Best Place to People Watch."  I can't find it on the LivingSocial website right now, so I will insert it's number as soon as I figure it out.

Thomas Hammer is officially titled "Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters" and they are a small coffee chain that seems to be popular in Idaho and Eastern Washington.They only have nine stores -- five in Spokane, one in Cheney, one in Hayden, one in Post Falls, and one in Boise.  They are really cool because they try to promote lots of local events and get really involved in the community.  They are also kind of quirky.  For example, I am pretty sure their mascot is a chubby little sumo wrestler, and Tuesdays and Thursdays they have a "Hammer bike" that bikes fresh coffee beans to their store in downtown Spokane.  They also sell some SUPER cute merchandise.  My favorites are...

These mugs:

My kitchen is white and it can be difficult to find cute stuff in white.  Plus these mugs are really big, and they only cost $6.50 (which I think is reasonable for coffee shop merchandise)

I also love these travel cups
There are tons of colors and they are $9.95.

Next time I go to the Saturday Market, I might just splurge on Thomas Hammer gear instead of any of the usual market stuff. 

So, first I went to Thomas Hammer to check it out and grab a drink to appease me while I wandered the market.  It was a perfect day.  Just the right temperature for jeans and a tank top, with a breeze AND the warm sun. The coffee shop is located on the bottom left of this picture, at the bottom of the big brown and white building.

The first thing I noticed was the coffee shop had a pinball machine in the corner.  This was definitely not your usual, run of the mill coffee shop. 

While waiting in line, I perused the menu.  It was broken up into traditional house favorites, blended drinks, non-coffee drinks, and additions/substitutions.  One drink that sounded interested was the Fireball: chocolate with a splash of orange.  There was also a PBNJ that sounded awesome -- chunky peanut butter mixed with chocolate.  Finally, I was also intrigued by the Creamsicle, which was orange juice, vanilla and cream (available blended or not blended). 

They had snacks, and I was super excited to see they had a variety of oatmeals (three different flavors).  I loved the dishware, as it was white ceramic.  The interior of the coffee shop was also adorable.

I ended up going with what I was semi-familiar with, and decided to try a chai freeze.  I got a 16 ounce, and it was $4.15.  I definitely should have gotten a smaller size, as this was a LOT.  In fact, my chai was overflowing and he gave me about an extra half cup of the stuff, mounded on top.  That was a nice touch and made me feel spoiled.

The drink was tasty.  I think I would have preferred a normal chai better though.  Maybe I was extra thirsty or something, but I ran into the problem where the drink turns into little bits of ice and you can't suck it up into your straw. 

I do wish this coffee shop would take a cue from Starbucks and use people's names on their drink orders. It got a bit confusing because myself and two other people had ordered chai freezes (they must be popular) and it was hard to tell whose drink was what. 

Overall, Living Social was correct -- this is a fantastic place to people watch! While I was there, I saw fancy business people, hippies, a couple on a date, many families, and a few rocker people.  The coffehouse even has flyers advertising concerts (I couldn't tell if they were directly related or not). 

After getting my drink, I decided to delve into even more people watching, and I walked around the Saturday Market.  This time I was on the lookout for rhubarb and/or fresh ricotta cheese.  Once again I came away empty handed.  I did see one SUPER cute thing though.  This boy was at his family's stand, and had his own little booth, with a sign for "five cent ship drawings." AWWW!

I also had a sample of something called a stroopwaffle.  Have you ever tried it? Legend has it it was created when a baker had leftover crumbs, and he combined they together with syrup.  It looks like a waffle, but tastes like delicious, amazing caramel and syrup.  To eat it, you are supposed to place it over your warm coffee so the coffee can melt the waffle a bit and make it even more gooey and delicious. 

While wandering, I managed to find The Modern and The Linen Building, and made my way over (by car) to Great Gargoyles.  I got the cutest little things. I will post about those tomorrow.  Goodnight!

PS - if you feel like online shopping, the stand below is my consistent market favorite.  Their website is and I LOVE them!

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Looks like a cute coffee shop! They have that coffee at WSU too. I remember having it a few times when living there. :)