Friday, October 9, 2009

Stuck to My Ribs: Murdoch Perk

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 11:30 AM

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I don't like coffee. Nor do I consider myself a fan of any of its more elaborately named siblings. I've always found that there are much more appealing vehicles for pumping caffeine into your bloodstream every morning.

So it probably doesn't come as a surprise that I don't spend much time in coffee shops. There are approximately 10,000 Starbucks in this country, and I have never knowingly turned over a single dollar of my money to any of them.

Which makes my appreciation for Murdoch Perk all the more vexing.


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At first glance, this neighborhood spot at the corner of Murdoch and Macklind in the "SoHa" neighborhood (that's trendy-speak for South Hampton) looks like the quintessential coffee shop. It has a java-based pun for a name, carries an overwhelming aroma of coffee beans, features a fireplace and oversized chairs for people who are reading random textbooks and offers free Wi-Fi that is actually being used by customers for stuff other than fantasy football.

In spite of that résumé, it also brings a few things to the table that challenge the traditional "coffee shop" label, several of which are particularly appealing to someone like myself:

1. It serves breakfast all day.

2. Depending on your preference, you can have sausage gravy and/or chili poured on top of said breakfast.

3. It has unlimited fountain soda for non-coffee drinkers to wash down their chili-covered breakfast.

These traits alone (to say nothing of the otherwise extensive food menu) make Murdoch Perk a tough place to pigeonhole. If a customer walks in looking to do the traditional things one does in a coffee shop -- sip a hazelnut latte, read Tolstoy, write dissertations, etc. -- then they have ample opportunity to do so.

If a customer walks in looking to do things one doesn't traditionally do anywhere near a coffee house -- eat a plate of breakfast potatoes and scrambled eggs swimming in a generous helping of "Ed's Spicy Chili" at 7:00pm for example -- then it can meet that demand as well.

If it's a middle ground you're looking for, there are options galore. Perhaps you can drink a Cafe au Lait next to the fireplace while you scarf down a St. Louis Cheesesteak. Or enjoy a "Big Breakfast" of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes and read the sports page on your laptop while you nurse your "Spiced Mocha."

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