The Brew in Dickinson, North Dakota is one of the most unusual places I’ve ever drank a cup of coffee.
The coffee shop and restaurant is tucked into a cozy little Episcopal Church where (rumor has it) Teddy Roosevelt worshipped when he lived and worked on two ranches near Dickinson in the 1880s.
Although it was a place of reflection and worship in a past life, today The Brew is a bustling place with a great vibe. The ownership has kept the majority of the church’s architecture intact, so while the atmosphere is buzzy, it still feels very much like a little prairie church inside.
There’s something pleasantly surreal about sitting on an old wooden pew and eating panini under the glow of a stained glass window, of looking around and seeing bottles of syrups and and containers of loose leaf tea instead of vestments and offering plates.
It’s a strange atmosphere, but it works. Open since 2011, The Brew serves tea, coffee, blended drinks, a tightly edited menu of sandwiches, salads and wraps and heaps of house-made baked goods.
I tried The Cowboy (focaccia layered with sliced ham, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and chopped onions), since breakfast for lunch is a weakness of mine. It was hearty and good and served with chips and a pickle.
There are four more mostly western themed sandwiches to try — The Medora, The Bully, The San Juan and um…the Turkey Bacon Avocado (I guess they ran out of Teddy Roosevelt references). If you’re watching your carbs, you can also get them as a wrap or a salad.
I had a big cup of the house coffee — I’m a black coffee girl — but I probably should have gotten something fancier, since The Brew is known for a wide range of iced and blended drinks, including smoothies, pretty coffee drinks, bubble tea and something called a PB&M (for peanut butter, banana and mocha) that sounds pretty interesting.
The fancy drinks aren’t just limited to coffee drinkers. Tea fans will adore this place. The Brew offers a wide range of loose leaf teas and lots of fun tea drinks.
The standard chai latte is on the menu alongside a green tea latte, a purple cow (red berries tea, vanilla, milk and ice) and a London fog (Earl Gray tea with frothed milk and vanilla). There’s even yerba mate (a rainforest tea) available, which should make my friends who studied in Argentina sublimely happy.
The staff at The Brew also makes lots of baked goods daily.
You’ll find lots of good, solid Midwestern stuff fresh out of Grandma’s “Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook” as well as scones and house-made bread. I’ve heard great things about their carmel rolls, scotcheroos, seven layer bars and (my own personal weakness) chocolate revel bars.
Dickinson is easily accessible via I-94 and the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway that runs from Bismarck/Mandan to Dickinson, so it’s worth a stop the next time you’re in the area.
You can follow their specials (and droll over the photos) on The Brew’s Facebook page.
215 Sims Street
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
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