Well over twenty years ago Cyndy and Joe Coppola opened Java Joes on Fourth St., ushering in not only a revival of the neighborhood, but the return of coffeehouse culture to a city bereft of such a cosmopolitan fixture.
Independently within months, Julie McGuire opened Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure at 2723 Ingersoll Ave., quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite for their plethora of quality fresh-roasted coffees, exotic teas, delightfully simple breakfast fare, locally made baked goods, and various gadgets to enlighten coffee and tea enjoyment at home. For me, a French press of their heavy bodied and pungent Indian Monsoon Malabar is better than sex, IMHO, but I'm open to second opinions.
Despite the nearby presence of two drive-up coffee chains – the long-defunct Grounds for Celebration on Grand Ave. next to Terrace Hill, and Caribou Coffee for the last eight years up the street – Zanizbar’s preserveres as an Ingersoll fixture with a loyal following of regulars alongside less frequent customers, myself included.
Ranking as one of the most unique breakfasts you can find in town is Zanizbar's steamed scrambled egg with toast, juice, and coffee. The egg is one the fluffiest you'll ever eat. With some white cheddar and scallion tops, the presentation and flavor is sublime. Sturdy toast pairs well with the delicate egg, and the fresh squeezed orange juice is so pulpy it separates from the waterier elements and floats to the top if left to rest.
Aside from coffee and tea, Zanzibar’s offers a Red Espresso which is rooibos herbal tea prepared through an espresso machine. Served as an alternative to coffee in espresso drinks, I'm hooked by its dry, hay-like flavor and prefer it neat.
Another unique breakfast treat at Zanzibar's is the Linda Special: a choice of toast or bagel topped with cream cheese under a broiled cap of white cheddar and scallion tops. A popular option is to mix steamed scrambled egg in with the toppings before broiling. It's tasty and an inspiring pairing of protein and carbohydrates, but I find the Linda Special more appealing sans egg.