01.16.14 - 11:26 am

8 S. Grand Ave., Montrose, 970/275-3265

Perhaps it’s the cozy atmosphere. Or it’s the view looking down onto west Main Street from its second-floor windows. Maybe it’s the perfectly crafted espresso drinks made from locally roasted coffee. Or is it the simple, yet satisfying, menu of breakfast and lunch items? Or the fact that vinyl records are for sale? Whatever it is, the Riddled Raven, at its new location, is a coffeeshop with an edge. It’s the reason why the Riddled Raven has become the centerpiece of many residents’ morning-and early-afternoon ritual in the LoMo area.

On a recent Tuesday, just before noon, the small dining room – it’s more like a good friend’s living room, complete with two comfy couches – was full of patrons getting their coffee fix, breakfast, and, for a few, an early lunch.

First the coffee – hyper-local coffee. The Riddled Raven uses beans roasted by Exotic Earth Coffee Roasters, the small-batch beanery located up the road in Ridgway. All the milk and cream the baristas at the Riddled Raven use are produced by Webb family at Rocking W Cheese just down the road in Olathe. The craft espresso drinks served at the Raven are as fresh as they are local.

A simple cup of coffee runs $1.75 for a small, $2 for a medium and $2.25 for a large. Lattes and cappuccinos are $2.75, $3.25 and $3.75. For those who need a morning jolt at that price, go for a face bomb – a cup of coffee and a double-shot of espresso added.

Having recently tried many, if not most, of the region’s best breakfast sandwich offerings for The Watch’s 2013-2014 winter Adventure magazine, I was surprised to discover two breakfast sandwiches at the Riddled Raven that we should have highlighted.

First, there’s the waffle sandwich ($6.95 full, $3.95 half). You get your choice of breakfast meat (including ham, bacon or sausage) and to choose a cheese of your liking. Bacon and cheddar seemed the right fit for me. The waffle sandwich was served quick and hot and paired great with the hot latte my mind needed to get on with my day.

The waffle was thin and crisp, with just the right amount of bacon, egg and cheese in-between; the unique sandwich came with two dipping cups of maple syrup. Normally, I’m not too eager to dip savory eggs-and-cheese into sweets like syrup, but I gave it a try, and soon, both sandwich and syrup were gone. It was filling and fun.

If a sweet egg sandwich isn’t your thing, give the breakfast panini ($4.95) a try. It’s made with your choice of cheese and meat, and comes with garlic cream cheese, spinach, bell pepper and tomato. Breakfast tacos ($3.95) are an option as well.

After such a memorable breakfast, I soon returned for lunch. As far as panini sandwiches go, check out the turkey with green olive spread ($4.95), served with avocado and spinach. There’s also a balsamic roasted eggplant sandwich ($5.95), made with red onion, mozzarella and red pepper spread. The simple ham-and-cheese sandwich ($4.95) with Dijon mustard and pickles translates into a satisfying and unpretentious Cuban sandwich. Seconds, anyone? 

Salads, including a chef salad ($2.50 small, $4.50 large), are available for lunch as well. For those who like to build their own salad, go for it. 

If you’re in a morning rush, the Riddled Raven serves up coffee specialties and food swiftly and with a smile. If you’re not in a hurry – and hopefully you aren’t, because it’s a great place to hang out – grab a cup, a newspaper, a sandwich, and enjoy the atmosphere. The Riddled Raven exists to be enjoyed. And while you’re there, check out their collection of vinyl and other gifts for sale.

CALL AHEAD: Call or text your order for even quicker pick-up.

NOT A COFFEE FIEND?: Besides coffee, the Raven has plenty of  other drink options, including Italian sodas, chai lattes, hot and iced teas, and seasonal specialty drinks.

Open Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

© 2014