Dining Out: Fairway boasts better than fair cup of coffee

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Why:Fairway Coffee opened on June 12 in the WinCo shopping center near Prairie High School, furthering the block-by-block availability of made-to-order designer coffee options in Clark County.

The coffee of choice is Stumptown. Fairway has a drive-through built for up to five cars, and inside the coffee shop, seating will accommodate 28 to 30 guests.

Atmosphere: A cool and subdued color palette doesn’t demand any focal attention, allowing the emphasis to rest on a casual and comfortable experience. A variety of seating arrangements include a few outdoor seats, club chair arrangements, a long dining table (good for a large group) and some smaller tables with chairs, and barstools that offer an overview of beverage preparation, as well as a windowside bar. The functionality of the space is very similar to that of a Starbucks layout.

What I tried: I had a vanilla honey latte, an almond croissant, and a bacon and cheddar bagel.

Although the pastries, bagels, and doughnuts are outsourced, the quality is fresh and the assortment is fitting to accompany the menu items.

I enjoyed the croissant much more than the bagel. The croissant paired perfectly with the latte. I took the bagel home to try at a later time.

The downside to the bagel was the bacon bits — they reminded me of the preserved, packaged kind.

The latte was out-of-this-world delicious. The milk had been expertly frothed to create a microfoam that blended like silk with the sweet honey and rich Hairbender Stumptown espresso. A nice vanilla essence lingered on every sip. I enjoyed it so much that I returned the next day for another.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: In addition to coffee and espresso specialties, the menu offers hot chocolate, cider, tea, frappés, and fruit smoothies.

Pastries are provided by Schwartz Brothers Bakery of Seattle. The Donut Nook supplies Fairway with maple bars and old-fashioned donuts.

A selection of Umpqua instant oatmeal bowls are available as well.

Other observations: The service is friendly, the atmosphere is relaxing and menu choices are straightforward.

Fairway’s location is easily accessed from Highway 503 and conveniently located for area residents.

Cost: Most beverages are available in 12-, 16- and 20-ounce cups and range from $1.65 for a 12-ounce traditional coffee to $4.75 for a frappé with coffee. Children’s’ beverages are 8 ounces and cost $2.25.Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Telephone: 360-952-8360.

Where: 11504 N.E. 119th St.

Health score: Fairway Coffee received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled for a routine inspection sometime in the near future.

Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.