Highly-saturated portraits and artisan beverages line the walls. Strands of beads are hung from lights, and, hung from these strands, are birds. The decor of Eloise, a cafe with a tavern feel, is both ethereal and robust at the same time. Having a drink in this magical place is like a fever dream. My chai latte, lightly dusted with cinnamon, was both satisfying and delicate. The flavor of it danced on my taste buds and also warmed me like a hearty meal. This balance of rough and mild, of bitter and saccharine, of hardwood and fairy lights, is what makes Eloise special. I sipped my warm drink at the bar like a hardened vigilante after a long eveningâ€™s work. Patrons around me had their own macchiatos and brews. Eloise is the perfect place for children and adults alike--in the daytime, at least. When the sun is shining, youâ€™ll sometimes
see parents with their children enjoying a cuppaâ€™ joe. By night, primarily alcohol is served. The owner, Jim Ward, has done an amazing job of striking a balance between childlike wonder and grown-up elegance in Eloise. He is also known for his musical career in the bands Sparta and At the Drive-In. Eloise, his prized creation, is located at 255 Shadow Mountain. = Zoe Kalman
Tom’s Folk Cafe is a little hole in the wall located on Boston Ave. With its homey exterior and interior, it invites you inside a restaurant with only six tables, but the size of this place doesn’t compare to the amount of wow-factor the food will lay on your taste buds. My peers and I first discovered Tom’s after reading a New York Times review, and decided to try the southern cuisine for ourselves. The minute we entered, we were enchanted by the eclectic pictures on the wall, the colorful guitar hanging by the door, and the tiny kitchen at arm’s reach. Before we even knew what we wanted, we watched the chef prepare the crawfish mac&cheese, the yummy pan-seared salmon, and the grilled peach salad. I think I speak for all of us when I say our mouths were watering with the smell of sweet mashed potatoes smothered in fig dressing passing through the restaurant onto a stranger’s table.
The ingredients are fresh from local markets and make your meal worth every penny. Because the restaurant is so small, it might be difficult to get a table for a while, but it gives you a chance to explore the menu and decide what you want to pay for. I myself had the privilege of eating the pulled pork sandwich. This sandwich is piled high with carmelized onions, sizzling bacon, and topped off with a big shiny bun with a knife portruding out the middle. That didn’t stop me from trying Ellen’s mac and cheese and Mackenzie’s french fries. There are so many places to choose from in the university area, so when deciding where to eat, think about this: Tom’s tastes homemade, feels homemade, and leaves you wanting more. Maybe have some carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert? = Paulina Martín 15