Brew Urban Cafe
Surrounded by the hubbub of Himmarshee Street saloons and Las Olas Riverfront tourist traps, Brew is an oasis of calm and caffeine. Its Seattle-style ambiance and fastidiously prepared drinks have won over the following of a large group of regulars who chat together in half-moon booths, lofty tables, and plush chairs. It's wi-fi friendly for the bring-your-own types, but several laptops are available for online access for a small fee. Brew's outstanding drinks, however, are what turn a first-timer into a regular. Coffee this good doesn't need the assistance of milk or sugar, so you can't go wrong with the double-shot espresso for $2. Lattes run from $2.95 for a small to $4.45 for large drinks such as a mocha or an Electric Shock, a latte made with espresso, natural vanilla, cinnamon, and caramel glaze. Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Shore scores points for getting a very basic premise of dessert: If ever a course deserved the full dog-and-pony show, it's not the apps and the entrées. When it comes to those early dishes, we're still ravenous; we couldn't care less if our escargots are wearing rolled-basil-leaf hats or if the waitron wants to turn our steak poivre into a major conflagration -- we just want to eat, man. But by the time we've made it to the sweets, let's have a little showmanship, a touch of the bump and grind, maybe a laugh or two, thank you very much! That plain knob of vanilla ice cream just doesn't cut it. So you have to appreciate Shore's panache: You don't so much eat dessert at Shore as marvel at it, giggle over it, trade pieces of it across the table like edible marbles or party favors. A "Three Ring Circus" ($9) of electric-blue cotton candy, a caramel apple, and a bag of homemade donut holes is a corny carnival; "banana cheesecake lollipops" ($9) arrive swinging like burlesque dancers from a tree decorated with cotton candy fluffs; the "Shake and Cake" ($8) turns that drab old diner pairing into an exotic joke with Tahitian vanilla and a racy Kahlua cupcake. These are desserts to rev your engines. The night is young. And so, for the moment, are you.

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