Philz Coffee

Philz sign

Review #38

Note: From now on I am referring to my youngest as BP (Bottomless Pit)

I love coffee but coffee don’t love me.  I used to be a hard core user but have switched over the years to being a prissy tea drinker.  Sure, I sleep better at night and my heart beats at a normal rate.  Plus,  I am no longer a pre-coffee manic mess every morning.  But man do I enjoy a beautifully large cup of steaming hot morning pleasure.  I allow myself this treat just once in a while, and today is the day!  I have been really excited to come to Philz for a cup of joe.  In fact, for the passed few days, I’ve been a bit obsessed.  As the afternoons start to drag or my kids start to whine, I just keep thinking to myself, “Sunday is almost here.  Happiness is waiting”.  Yes, I’m like a coke addict with this stuff.

Hubby, BP and I chose to walk the few short miles to breakfast this morning while the oldest teen slept in, missing all the fun as usual.  We talked, or maybe we didn’t, I don’t know…I couldn’t stop thinking about my upcoming score.  I walked fast.  Once we got there, we had to take a minute to figure things out.  It wasn’t obvious how Philz works exactly.  Hubby and BP were instantly drawn to the display cases.

Philz toasts

Philz goodies

Philz goodies 1

I was told by Debbie, a seasoned Philz patron, that I had to order my coffee from the coffee line first, then go order food, then pay for it all, then go back and wait for my coffee.  They have great choices.

Philz menu

Philz is not your typical coffee place.  They have no espresso drinks here.  That’s right people.  No mochas, lattes or cappuccinos here at all!  Each cup of coffee at Philz is crafted individually for their customer.  Let me tell you that when I say you will NOT miss your espresso, that I am not lying!  I was warned about Philz coffee.  It is strong.  So strong, that it for advanced coffee connoisseurs only.  Having abstained for so long, I didn’t want to burn a hole in my stomach, so I carefully ordered a small cup, half decaf, lightly brewed coffee with lots of milk.  None of the fancy flavors for me, I don’t like my coffee sweet.  This has got to be the safest way to ease back into things.   Once it was ready, my friendly barista asked me to taste it to make sure it was just to my liking.  I’m glad she understood exactly how important this one cup of coffee is to my life!  I took a small sip and felt the strength of it hit me like a train.  My barista looked at my face and asked, “More milk?  Yah, I think more milk”.  I handed it back and she lightened it up even more for me.  Man, I remember those college days when I could have drank a whole mug of this stuff!  Black!

Happiness was quickly settling in until I spotted BP inhaling a Very Berry Muffin on his way to our table.  He was almost done with it and he wasn’t even sitting down yet.  Everything went into slow motion at this point.  “W-A-I-T!  I  need to get my picture!” I yelled in deep, slow-motion voice.  I shoved someone out of my way and while cradling my coffee, leaped across to the table like a freaking super hero to grab him before it was gone.  You see, we have a deal.  The kids can come while we blog, but I get to a.) take a picture before they eat and b.) get to taste it so I can blog about it.  In reality, I am lucky if either happens.  BP looked up at me, terrified, and put down the muffin.  It was much prettier before, but at least you can see the berries, right?

Philz muffinA mostly eaten Very Berry Muffin

The muffin was indeed worth hoarding.  It was delicious, with the sweetness coming from the berries themselves.

Mary ordered the Istanbul Treat, which is a black tea made from fruits and spices.  She said it was great.

Philz teaIstanbul Treat Tea

Qwen ordered a Banana Coconut Muffin which, unlike some, she gracefully shared.  It was really good.Philz banana

BP ordered a Hummus & Tomato Toast, inhaled it, then went back and ordered another.  At this point, he earned his new nickname: Bottomless Pit.

Philz hummusHummus & Tomato Toast

Hubby and I ordered The Mediterranean Toast with avocado, egg and zatar- a middle eastern spice mix.  We’re familiar with zatar because our middle eastern exchange student brought us tons of it, and we love it.  Now I know it goes great on avocado toast!  Philz gets their bread from Bread and Cie in Hillcrest.  As a fellow sourdough bread baker myself, hats off to them.  Bravo on making an excellent sourdough with the perfect, chewy crust.

Phiz avo

Mary ordered a bagel sandwich that looks scrumptious.

Philz bagel

While eating, we heard really loud pounding.  We followed the sound and found out it was coming from the bashing of pistachio shells for the Ricotta Pistachio Toast.  Yah, we ordered one of those too.  Drizzled seductively with honey, this is wonderful!

Philz pistachioRicotta Pistachio Toast

The food is great.  My coffee is finished.  Man I’m feeling good.  I mean, I’m feeling really really good!  My God Qwen, your eyes are beautiful!  And Debbie, have you always looked so gorgeous in pink?  Can you believe this marvelous weather?  The sun is shining, we are on the coast, and this is our home!  How did we get so lucky?  I feel so good, why don’t I drink coffee more often?  What do you mean I’m talking fast? I’m not talking fastIjustfeelreallyreallygoodandIhavelotsofenergyandlotstosay!  Ok, BREATHE!

Bottom Line:

There are always haters out there.  Philz’ haters say their coffee is bitter and way too strong.  It’s true, Philz coffee is not for everyone.  They’ve created a unique niche in the crowded, Encinitas coffee ecosystem.  For those that want fancy espresso drinks, you have a ton of other choices to go to, all close by.  Philz is for the hard core coffee drinkers.  Those that want to ingest high octane fuel and have the stomachs to handle it.  The pastries and avocado toasts at Philz are worth coming for, even if you aren’t man enough for their coffee.  But if you do go for a glorious cup, oh my!  The air feels cleaner.  The ocean is bluer.  And life, is just marvelous!

Next week’s blog will be on Sunday, March 11th at 5:30 pm

Union Kitchen & Tap



Author: foodkibbitzer

I love to cook, especially soup, and bake challah. I ride horses, enjoy sarcastic people and am a food snob. I'm busy being mom to my two boys and I play mahj jong.

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