The Foundry looks like an especially nice version of your average urban coffee house: a redone early 20th-century commercial space at the corner of McCullough and Huisache in historic Monte Vista; well-worn furniture that could have been culled from area estate sales; a granite-topped bar. Except it’s not average. The baristas are volunteers, and mostly members of the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, which runs the coffee shop 7am-1pm weekdays and Thursday nights as a ministry. Not to worry; the gentleman who chatted me up merely brought up the church and left the door open. The coffee was flavorful (although I’d take it a bit darker), and the foam on my latte was thick, creamy, and expertly fluffed. The carrot-pear bread manages that key breakfast-pastry trick of tasting both nourishing and decadent. The standard espresso-bar drinks are available in addition to plain-ol’ joe, with the “Elvis” offering the only wild side (peanut butter and banana blended with a mocha frappuccino). It’s enough to get me back for coffee, but not for church ... although sitting there reading the paper, like a giftwrapped package, was Councilman Justin Rodriguez, whom I needed to get ahold of that morning for a story. Coincidence, right?

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