If you find yourself on Interstate 95 in Virginia passing the town of Petersburg, find any excuse to exit traffic and visit Demolition Coffee. We were traveling from North Carolina to Northern Virginia and needed a late lunch + a caffeinated pick-me-up. Google Maps recommended this coffee shop and mentioned they had sandwiches and such; I was too lazy to even look at their website or online menu, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best as we cruised down the exit ramp.
Don’t let the rundown parts of town scare you off…after all, every city has its rough edges, doesn’t it? Petersburg has character, history, diversity, and one of the best damn coffee shops I’ve ever discovered.
The coffee menu is extensive and the food offerings are as well. The hardest thing to do is make your choice and then sit and wait for your treats. We sat near the door where cold gusts of late December wind snuck in behind customers coming and going…we had no other option, really, as the place was packed! While we waited, I glanced around at the decor.
An elf hung cheekily upside down from a black circular candle chandelier that hung from the ceiling. A few walls were exposed brick, skinny wooden slats covered the dropped central part of the ceiling, and a thick wooden beam over the counter was adorned with lighted wreaths. A small bookshelf offered reads to anyone with time and freedom to do so. The hum of conversation was punctuated by the barista shouting order numbers and the sharp creak of the front door opening, each time sending golden afternoon sunlight bouncing off the door’s glass and polished wood, sending flashes of light across the space.
It felt so much like the Coffee Corner*…my heart was full. Perhaps the space wasn’t exactly the same and there weren’t heavenly cinnamon rolls in the bake case, but the vibes were identical to Sheryl’s caffeinated haven. [*The Coffee Corner is one of the central settings in my novel, The Mornings.]
Okay, enough about the magical atmosphere…onto the food!
I indulged in a Dirty Banana, a frozen/blended concoction of espresso, banana, soy milk, caramel, and ice. It was like a liquid bananas foster with a satisfying jolt of coffee in lieu of rum (not that rum would spoil this drink!). I had a veggie burger that was out of this world (caramelized onions and smoky tomato mayo really make this one stand out). I was planning to give my pasta salad that came as a side to my husband, but I ended up finishing it!
He had a frozen caramel latte, a slice of apple pie, and the “Short Fuse,” their take on a “better BLT” (again, caramelized onions and smoky tomato mayo are heroes!). We both agreed: the food and coffee drinks were excellent. As soon as we reluctantly returned to the car, I saved Demolition Coffee as a destination in my Garmin.
I’ll find any excuse to go back…I can’t wait for my next road trip down south! I’d like to explore more of Petersburg as well.
And as we approach the end of another year, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season and that your New Year is full of peace and joy and love and laughter.