Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Mitchell's Hardware Store, 215 Craven Street in historic downtown New Bern, is an authentic turn-of-the-century hardware store, as integral to the town's history as Tryon Palace.
From its beginning at the turn of the century, Mitchell's had a reputation for being the place to go for hard-to-find items. The same is true today. My hubby has gone to Mitchell's more than once for items not available elsewhere in New Bern (e.g., mineral oil, balls of butcher's string and a plumbing fitting for his boat).
This is a true old-time country store.
A person could literally spend hours here, uncovering hidden gems in the huge inventory of hardware items, cast iron cookware, traditional pottery, enamel ware, bird-watching accessories, spices, seeds and more. And if you just can't go through all that, there are friendly employees to help. If you have out-of-town guests, give them a tour of our beautiful downtown, and show them Mitchell's. We bring all our out-of-town guests here for a delightful visit. Most of them find something they want to purchase.
Seeds are available via packets, but also by the ounce or pound.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Also typical of coffee houses is a "living room" area with comfortable upholstered furniture where someone can enjoy a cup of joe with a newspaper or laptop. A gentleman was using his laptop in the "living room" area, so I carefully shot a photo of part of the area, leaving him out.
Since breakfast offerings are limited, Guy and I ordered the same: Sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted basil tomato bun and a cup of decaf. The black coffees are given to you at the register in paper cups. If you want milk, half and half, creamer or sugar, take your cup to the beverage counter.
When our sandwiches were ready, they were called out. There are no numbers given, so you really have to pay attention. No frills here, just a sandwich on a plate.
The toasted basil tomato buns were delicious, the sausage was fresh tasting, not greasy, nicely cooked, and the cheese was temptingly melted over the egg. The coffees were typical of coffee shop java which is stronger than average. Port City's decaf is not like Starbucks though, which is so strong I can't drink it. I found my decaf enjoyable, but Guy could not finish his, stating it was just too strong. The breakfast sandwiches were $3.30 each, and the coffees were $1.70 each.
If I were young, or not carb conscious, I would love this place. The casual atmosphere and good dollar value are definite draws. But I'm old and watching my carbs like crazy. Though the bun was delicious and I wanted to eat it, I discarded most of it, thanks to good willpower. I like my breakfast served at a bigger table, on a plate with fork and knife. And I like my coffee in a ceramic mug. That being said, I have no doubt that Port City Java will be in business for a long time to come.