by Jen L.
We moved to Montevallo, a small town smack-dab in the middle of Alabama, from New York City. The phrase "culture shock" doesn't even begin to describe what we felt. I was nervous. Nevrous that I'd never find a place to call mine. You see, for as big as NYC is, you have your own special spots there. I quickly discovered Eclipse Coffee and Books, my new place in my new town.
Eclipse is a one-of-a-kind place. Situated right in the center of our little town, it looks like a regular old southern house with a wrap-around porch...until you look closer. It's a coffee shop. It's a restaurant. It's a bookstore. It hosts book clubs. It's a live-music venue. It's a bar. They have wine tastings and trivia nights. The porch is the perfect place to enjoy a cold milkshake on a summer afternoon. You'll see a wide awray of people there every time you go. There's The Judge, a retired gentleman who makes the rounds and tells great stories about his horses. There are college students studying, faculty members attending happy hour, families enjoying a snack, and everything in between.
We used to go there a lot for breakfast when my son was a baby. He loved the cup of baby pickles that came with his egg sandwich. I love the four different drip coffee options. Their milkshakes are off the hook, including flavors like fresh blueberry and pecan pie. You can sit on the gorgeous wrap-around porch under a fan and visit with the Eclipse kitties, cats who have been adopted by the owners and staff and who pretty much have free rein of the outdoor space. My favorite guy is Big Foot, a huge black cat with a cute droopy ear. On rainy days, it's nice to sit in the front room and flip through a book while my son plays with toys.
My favorite thing at Eclipse will always be the breakfast sandwich--eggs, bacon and cheddar on multi-grain bread, served with a side of baby dill pickles, with a large cup of coffee. Their Eclipse blend coffee is fantastic, but my heart will always belong to one of their signature flavors: Spicy Morning It's a blend of Hazelnut, Cinnamon and Vanilla and it is perfect.
If you ever find yourself passing through central Alabama, make sure you save time to stop by Eclipse. They're open all day and well into the evening and their menu has something for everyone.
Photos courtesy of Eclipse Coffee