Barrio Logan is quickly becoming my default Saturday morning destination. Like clockwork, our coffee supply runs low, and because it’s so close (and home to several coffee roasters) the Barrio is our main fuel station. While my husband selects a bag of beans, I typically peruse the drink menu. Cafe Virtuoso has all of the beverage options you’d expect: iced coffee, lattes, frappes, and three varieties of mochas, but when the barista on duty told me about the Polar Bear latte ($3.75), a special drink that’s not on the menu, I was sold. The triple-sweet drink features espresso, white chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel.
The Polar Bear is made with two shots of Virtuoso espresso, white chocolate powder, Monin peanut butter syrup, and topped with whipped cream and caramel. The white chocolate makes it silky and sweet, with aromas of butter and marshmallows, but all of the flavors are well-balanced and the taste of the espresso shines through. If you love flavored lattes, the best place to indulge are coffee roasters, because you know you’re getting the freshest espresso possible, straight from the source (unlike the chains, whose beans could be months old before they’re ground and served to you). It’s also good to know that all of the beans sold at Virtuoso are certified fair trade, organic, and sustainably grown.
I hear good things about the iced coffee as well, but a drink with chocolate, caramel and peanut butter is hard to pass up. It’s also available iced or blended.
1616 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113