Dining Out: Coffeehouse brews up a variety of beverages

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Why: Locally owned Thatcher’s Coffee opened July 5 adjacent to Lapellah in the Fred Meyer-anchored Grand Central complex. An eco-friendly, local, and sustainable approach is woven into the vibe at this new option for Vancouver coffeehouse devotees.

Portland-based Ristretto Roasters provides the coffee. The menu board offers coffee, tea, espresso-based drinks and blended drinks. Thatcher’s specialties include a honey and vanilla latte and a caramel latte. A kid’s menu offers blended fruit smoothies.

Atmosphere: Uncluttered, functional sophistication with a pop of color create a Scandinavian feel. Original Percolator Pendant light fixtures hang above the dining area. Oversized coffee-sack upholstered chairs form a comfy lounging area in front of the service bar, where cream, sugar, and other supplies are located.

A commercial roll-up door can be raised to bring the outdoors in. A kid-friendly area with small table and chairs is sure to make little tykes feel as though they’re having a grown-up experience.

What I tried: I tried a piece of coffee cake, a chocolate chip cookie and lemon cake. All are baked fresh daily at Thatcher’s. I had a cup of coffee and my dining companion had a chocolate frappe.

The coffee was bold and flavorful, though next time I will request a to-go cup because it cooled rather quickly in the mug, which also happens at home. My dining companion was impressed with the chocolate frappe, which was blended very well, without a trace of ice chunks, and was also pleasantly frothy.

We both agreed that the lemon cake outshined the coffee cake and the cookie. It had a slightly firm exterior, which gave way to a moist interior that wasn’t too sweet or oily. Every bite was loaded with lemon essence from the zest that is incorporated into the mix.

Although the coffee cake was moist and tasty, I wasn’t fond of its topping. The mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, a few chopped pecans and some of the cake batter had a granular texture that was distinctly separate from the cake. A generous amount of it had been added as well. The chocolate chip cookie had chips in every bite, and its dough was well-browned and not at all chewy. The cookie broke apart quite easily and wasn’t particularly buttery or classic tasting.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried:Fresh store-baked items include Earl Grey tea cookies that are sandwiched together with a citrus butter cream frosting. Thatcher’s also carries items from Portland-based Nuvrei Bakery.

Other observations: Thatcher’s Coffee offers more space and seating than other Vancouver coffee stops. I found the employees to be friendly and courteous.

Cost: Beverages start at $1.50 for coffee and top out at $4.25 for several of the frappes. Food ranges from 75 cents for house-made biscotti to $4.75 for yogurt and house-made granola.

Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Telephone: 360-258-0571.

Where: 104 Grand Blvd., Suite 100, Vancouver.

Health score: Thatcher’s Coffee has received a pre-opening inspection and is due for a routine inspection sometime in the near future. For information, call 360-397-8428.