Sunday, March 9, 2014

@ Brumby's Coffeehouse and Pizzeria in Bellville

The more I do this blog, the more often I see businesses paired up with coffee shops. I've reviewed a coffee shop and bookstore in Buffalo's south side, a coffee shop and record store in Cleveland's Tremont, and this week, I'm reviewing something a bit more unusual: a coffee shop and pizzeria.
Kailey required me to have her review any photo she is in
before I post it. I told her I am a journalist and 
don't believe in censorship.
As if the world doesn't have enough places to order pizza, Brumby's Coffeehouse and Pizzeria in Downtown Bellville offers one more location. I don't look at it that way though. I see the pizzeria and its offerings more as a complement to being a coffee shop.

Think of it like this: You and two others are looking for a coffee shop to chit-chat, but are also hungry and don't want to spend too much money on expensive food. This is exactly what happened Saturday March 1 when my boyfriend Matt and our friend Kailey wanted to hang out, but also wanted to open our lives and wallets to something outside of Sips Coffee in Mount Vernon.

... Actually, that is all a lie. I've been urging both of them to join me in a visit here for a few weeks since learning about Brumby's existence in early February.

Location: Located in a small Richland County village between Mansfield and Mount Vernon, Brumby's could arguably be Bellville's crown jewel.

This carnivore monstrosity was delicious, but Matt, Kailey
and I were very put off by the Styrofoam plates they gave.
Paper is more eco-friendly.
I've driven through downtown Bellville countless times on my way to and from Mount Vernon, and every time, my eyes always catch the adorable public ice skating rink, large gazebo, colonial-style bed and breakfast and shops that line along State Route 13. But nothing impresses me more than the three-story building and its brick and glass facade standing in the center of it all. That's where Brumby's sits and whenever I pass it while returning to Cleveland, a bit of me cries inside asking why does it have to be closed on Mondays.

Food and Beverage: As you can imagine, Brumby's offers a lot of options. Its menu has all of the stuff you'll find at your typical pizzeria between its subs, specialty pizzas and calzones as well as the smoothies, frappes and other coffee confections you see at most coffee shops. (It also offers pastries, but the selection Saturday wasn't as wild as most coffee shops I've visited.)

These huge coffee mugs were more like bowls. 
We hardly even needed the free refills.
On Saturday, Matt, Kailey and I ordered three house coffees (plus an espresso for Matt) and a 16-inch carnivore-style pizza for $28 and change. Quite happily, the coffee and its free refills kept us settled while we waited for our pizza to be baked.

Also, I have to give Brumby's props for offering the natural-yet-tastes-enough-like-artificial-sweetener Stevia. I don't often see my favorite sweetener packets at the coffee shops I visit.

Space and Atmosphere: The only thing more beautiful than the outside of Brumby's is definitely its interior. It has waxed wooden flooring, exposed brick walls, an etched white ceiling, hanging light bulbs, and wooden support beams, tables and chairs all around. The barista behind the counter that Saturday said the place was recently renovated. I believe her and it looks they did everything right.

I am surprised this place wasn't busier Saturday.
Compared to most pizzerias and coffee shops, Brumby's has a lot of space. And by a lot, I mean I didn't even bother counting the amount of seats and tables they had Saturday. I saw a few groups of people patronizing the place then. You could probably host a birthday party at Brumby's without disturbing other guests around you.

No person would probably have a problem working on their computer at Brumby's, however, the place looks more designed for play than work. The number of wall outlets isn't vast, especially compared to how many seats there are.

Matt and I never logged online with our tablets that Saturday because we were too preoccupied with something else at Brumby's--its chess board.

Yes, those are high school students huddled at that table.
This place brings out all types of crowds.
They had two chess boards, a checkers board and a Chinese checkers board. Because we only know how to play chess, I challenged Matt to a match. It was like Ian McKellen facing off against Patrick Stewart in the X-Men movies.

I narrowly won with a King, Rook-reformed-Queen and two pawns left versus his King, Queen and Bishop. Kailey, a graduate student studying psychology at Ashland University, had to counsel Matt back to health over the devastating loss.

An epic battle is quite fitting for an epic coffee shop.

Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via email--shusted@news-herald.com--or on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.

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