Midtown Mobile is a little cozier these days, thanks to the coffeehouse tucked into the corner of Dauphin Street and Semmes Avenue. Just inside the glass double-door entry, a robust whiff of freshly ground coffee and the flickering glow of an electric fireplace extend an invitation to enter further. It’s a comfortable place, and it’s the vibe owners Mallory and Eric Friese were looking to create in their beanery’s second location.
“We wanted a warm, community-oriented spot,” Mallory says, “a place you feel like you can hang out.” As she talks, she waves her arm past the massive counter, behind which a bevy of syrups line up like sweeteners-at-arm, and she points toward the Gathering Room, a separate meeting space the community can reserve for small groups or meetings.
But no matter who walks through the doors, all are welcome to sit a spell, and the business at hand — if there’s any to be had — won’t be all serious. The menu, full of must-try, over-the-top concoctions, makes sure of that.
Like its flagship in Daphne, Soul Caffeine serves hot and cold quenchers all day. But what’s unique about this location is the kitchen, open until 2 p.m. daily. Every dish on the wall-sized chalkboard menu vies for attention, making the decision to choose between waffles, a salad or panini darn near impossible. Mallory makes a strong case for the Belgian waffles, saying they are made with pearl sugar which, unlike granulated sugar, caramelizes as the waffles cook. The result is a contradictory mix of soft, fluffy, thick and crispy. Basically perfection.
It’s evident the Frieses flexed their creativity developing the dishes. “We like to keep things light and fun,” Mallory says, pointing to the menu’s cheeky nods to TV shows like “The Office” (the Finer Things Club panini and salad) and “Parks and Recreation” (the Ron Swanson waffle). The creative nomenclature extends to seasonal beverages, too, like Bonfire, a salted caramel chai, and Sweater Weather, a vanilla brown butter latte.
Mallory wipes the counter and greets a couple walking in. “This neighborhood has been so welcoming,” she says. And that’s what Soul Caffeine mirrors in service. “Coffee shops have a unique ability to bring all types of people together. Here, it’s not just about caffeine for the body; it’s for the soul.”
On the Menu
Finer Things Club Salad
With fresh strawberries, goat cheese, and glazed pecans atop a bed of mixed greens, all drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette, this salad is a top seller — and it’s easy to see why.
Finer Things Club Panini
All the best sandwich fixings are included on this perfectly pressed, crispy and crunchy panini: turkey, bacon, creamy avocado mash, smoked Gouda, tomato and aioli.
This waffle, smeared with peanut butter, drizzled with Southern Farms Honey, and topped with bananas and whipped cream, will have you saying, “Bee mine, honey!” (It’s seriously that good.)
A play on the Italian word “affogato,” this pick-me-up is topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle. Served with a double shot of espresso — pour over waffle or enjoy separately.
Soul Caffeine • Mobile: 1714 Dauphin St. 408-9386 • Daphne: 2004 US Hwy 98, Suite B. 345-4156 • soulcaffeine.net
Mobile: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. M – F; 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sa – Su; Kitchen open until 2 p.m.
Daphne: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. M – F; 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sa; 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Su