Dining out: Holy Grounds' pastries like 'heaven'

August 14, 2008 

A few blocks south of the Main Street intersection of Clover is a quaint coffee house and cafe where I've been privy to taste some of the best pastries around, like muffins wrapped phyllo dough, that edible and delectable baklava-like flaky piece of heaven.

After seeing the promotions for Live Music Jams on Friday nights, I decided to check out this Christian coffee house for dinner.

I noticed a fantastic outdoor patio on the way in where some Friday night music jams are held, when we're not in the dog days of summer. Orders are taken at a small counter in the back. Joanne Duke, who owns the cafe with husband Dwayne, was friendly and bubbly taking our order, setting the stage for a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.

The menu is short, naturally listing coffee and espresso drinks ($1 to $3.25) with all the gourmet syrups and styles of most coffeehouses, as well as hot drinks, such as tea, chai latte, steamers and hot chocolate. But these days, it's the cold stuff that interests me, such as the frozen coffees ($2.50 to $3.50); I had the Heath Bar with caramel and mocha flavor. Yum! There's also fruit smoothies in six flavors ($2.50-$3.50) and a lemon slush, Italian sodas, iced tea and other beverages.

The food portion of the menu includes "Pastries and Such" such as bagels with cream cheese for $1.50 or breakfast bagels/wraps ($2) with scrambled eggs and the option to add cheese and ham. And, of course, there is a pastry case for "daily offerings" with cookie jars on top.

The Soup, Salads and Sandwiches lists six items to choose from: soup of the day (served only in the cooler months), garden salad for $3.25, chef salad for $5.95, daily wraps for $4.55 -- three varieties daily, panini for $4.75 with choice of deli meats and hoagies for $5.85.

After placing our order, we sat at an outdoor bistro-style table for two and took in the atmosphere of Christian symbols like crosses, and the small stage in the front and shelves of CDs for sale. We were told it was open mic night, but so far, there were no takers.

Our garden salads came quickly and with some nice touches, like blue corn chips and fresh slices of watermelon. It was also packed with cucumbers and banana peppers, served with ranch dressing -- a very fresh and tasty salad.

Like clockwork, our sandwiches were served, again with blue corn chips and watermelon that was perfectly juicy. My companion raved about the chicken salad wrap, while my panini was served plain, just turkey and cheese, on truly fresh bread.

Naturally, dessert was in order so we split a piece of chocolate and caramel cake, and a brownie. Both were moist and wonderful.

Unfortunately, when we left just before 9 p.m. happy and full, no one had stepped up to the mic. But Early Warning will play tonight and Matt Evans performs Aug. 15. The shows start at 8 p.m.

If you're looking for a quick bite that's just like homemade, a coffee or juice, or something sweet to eat (and Friday night live entertainment to boot) try soaking in the spirit of Clover's little jewel -- Holy Grounds Cafe & Juice Bar.

Catherine Muccigrosso, Lake Wylie Pilot editor

HOLY GROUNDS CAFE & JUICE BAR

Location: 510 S. Main St., Clover

Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Phone: (803) 222-4GOD (4463)

Web site: holygrounds1.com

Ambiance: Christian coffee house and cafe

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