Where can you find self-serve gelato, pimento cheese sandwiches and a variety of coffee drinks under one roof? Across from St. Mary’s on Monte Sano, The Purple Cow offers a quirky approach to the traditional coffee shop.
You won’t find the familiar freezing temperatures and dim lighting of other coffeehouses here. If there was ever a family friendly coffee shop (or an adult-friendly yogurt shop), this is it. Hill residents have been known to pull up to the shop in golf carts or spend an entire morning working and holding meetings here.
Outfitted with two small seating areas and a sunny patio, the Purple Cow’s interior speaks to its nontraditional vibe. There is an abundance of cow-themed art in the tiled, naturally lit area in the front, some of which I thought I recognized from local artists.
A carpeted, more modern area towards the back utilizes the typical coffee motif with paintings of espresso shots. I can’t speak for the patio, as it was temporarily closed for repairs, but at a glance it seemed like the perfect place to enjoy beautiful weather and good food.
If you’re looking for a cozy space to sip on coffee and read a book, head towards the carpeted room across from the entrance—you may even score a seat at one of the odd (but comfortable) velvety purple chairs. There is free Wi-Fi, and plenty of electrical outlets line the walls, making it a great place to study, work or just surf the net while supporting a local business.
Drinks are offered in 12- or 20-ounce cups, with a range of moderately priced options including espresso drinks, hot cocoa, teas and black coffee. There are also non-dairy milk options such as almond, soy and coconut milk.
You can grab a cup of gelato for .70 an ounce from one of the large blue machines in the front. There are a few delicious-sounding flavors and many toppings, mimicking the fro-yo model, but with the exciting gelato twist. One thing that will be a definite try during my next visit will be a Brown Cow, gelato served in a coffee cup with a shot of espresso poured over the top.
Looking for a grab-and-go breakfast or a small lunch? The Purple Cow also serves up a variety of pastries and fresh-made sandwiches. Their banana nut muffin was sweet and satisfying, a perfect pair with an iced latte for a quick pick-me-up. When I do return, I will be excited to try the chicken salad croissant.
Whether you’re stopping by for a quick coffee or taking time to enjoy a sandwich and ice cream, The Purple Cow will impress you with the fast, friendly service and warm atmosphere. It was rather quiet at noon on a Thursday, but I have seen the small parking lot at capacity during the morning rush or after church on Sundays. Oh yeah — there’s a parking lot right outside the building, eliminating the stressful hassle of finding one of the 10 angle spots lining Monte Sano.
The Purple Cow is located at 1419 Monte Sano Avenue. For more information, call 706- 364-3612 or visit them on Facebook.