Weekly Dining Round-up

2009 July 10
by Chuck Shotton

Tables and gamesThere’s only one gem on the list this week, but what a great addition to downtown Leesburg! Last night, several of us went to the new “Shoe’s Cup and Cork Club” at 17 N. King St, just a bit up the street from Lightfoot in the old shoe store location, right across the street from the old courthouse. The universal consensus was that this is going to be a great place to hang out, grab a quick bite to eat, and when they get their beer and wine license, have a nice drink with friends over some good food.

Right now, the best way to characterize Shoe’s is as a local coffee shop, very much in the pattern of the old Market St. Coffee, but with a significantly wider selection of coffees, teas, smoothies,  and fruit drinks. Add to that the freshly baked pasteries and sandwiches and salads made on the premises and you can start to see where it goes beyond the “just another coffee shop” label. And best of all, their coffee is organic and fair-trade and they are trying to stick to local, organic ingredients in the food they serve.

The decor is fun, with walls of shelves, a floor to ceiling chalk board, big tables with board games, puzzles, and rack of magazines to entertain. Not to be missed is the overhead light fixture made from antique shoes, complete with a 1928 ladies shoe found in the wall during renovations. And as we walked in, one of the baristas was adding live music to the mix with her guitar and pleasant vocals. There’s also free Wi-Fi, but it was hard to tell what the power outlet situation was for road warriors needing a quick bite and a cuppa.

We tried several things from the menu, selecting the Shoe salad (a bit of an antipasto-topped garden salad), the Italian hoagie, and the grilled portobello and mozzarella sandwich. The sandwiches were good, and though already made, they were happy to stick them in the sandwich press to toast them up for you. The ingredients were great, with the roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella, fresh greens, and nice breads adding a lot. Beverages we tried included the Shoe smoothie (normally peach, but made with pineapple for us), the blackberry smoothie, and the lemonade. All were very nice, freshly made, and as a pleasant surprise, not very sweet with the tartness of the fruit supplying a little extra zing to the drinks.

While we were dining, we were treated to a preview of the menu to come once the beer and wine license wends its way through the Virginia ABC bureaucracy . A nice small plate, including goat cheese stuffed peppadew peppers and some grilled focaccia with melted cheeses would go very well with a glass of wine, and we look forward to these sorts of additions to the menu.

Sandwiches were followed up by coffee and dessert, with a nice blueberry scone and a large cup of café mocha rounding out the meal. Due to a complete ordering failure on my part, we didn’t get to try the unadulterated coffees or teas, but that’s just an excuse to go back soon.

shoesv2In short, Shoe’s is going to be a wonderful addition to the downtown dining scene. They are open every day from that first wake-up cup of coffee to the late evening dessert run or glass of wine. The staff were all very helpful, the decor is a treat, and you can’t beat the location for convenience. See you there!

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