With one pandemic (hopefully) on the fade and another ascending, it seemed like the right time to write about Monkey Nest Coffee over yonder on Burnet Road. The monkeynesters are local and strive to use local, organic, and natural ingredients for their coffees, pastries, tacos, and lunch items. A neighborhood fixture since 2009, this monkey business has plenty of seating, wifi, and a friendly, old-skool vibe.
On a recent visit to meet with the wrong Johanna/Joanna to talk about climate change, I went full monkey with the Spicy Monkey Mocha (with chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne; $5), a Hungry Monkey breakfast taco ($5.5), and a Monkey Muffin ($4.5). I’m generally boring with my beans, preferring my java straight-up with none of the fancy or sweet. Still, the Spicy Monkey was pleasurably tasty, much heavier on the cinnamon than the cayenne. And I just noticed the Monkeys Uncle on the menu, a latte with peanut butter, banana, and chocolate!
The Hungry Monkey was a solid breakfast taco with a bit of everything in it (sadly, the Monkey doesn’t post its menu, so I couldn’t discern exactly what was in it [hopefully not Rhesus pieces]). The Monkey Muffin was a bit of dietary overkill after inhaling the Hungry Monkey, but I put my life on the line every day for our dedicated readers, so I dove in. And it was a sticky, nutty, and delicious mess that brought back pleasant memories of making monkey bread with mom in the early 80s. Culinary side notes: (1) monkey bread has its origins in the Hungarian treat, arany galuska, and (2) Nancy Reagan served monkey bread every Christmas. Monkey Nest’s muffin-sized version is appropriately scaled down and even better than the full bread.
Monkey Nest also serves up a wide selection of teas and sandwiches. I’ve enjoyed several of their decadent quiches and imbibed many a competent latte there. They do not serve alcohol (aka, no Monkey Bar), do not call their cappucinos capuchin-os, and do not refer to their chocolate chip cookies as chocolate chimp cookies, but no place is perfect. All in all, it’s good to have Nest of Monkeys in the ‘hood. If you ever want to go and need company, remember: I’m a chimp date.
Monkey Nest Coffee, 5353 Burnet Road, (512) 505-8033, monkeynestcoffee.com
I wrote this review for the Allandale Neighbor.