A coffee kiosk? A wine shop? A bakery? A place to grab a quick sandwich or salad? A market with designer doggie dishes, yoga shirts and wallets? How could this combination possibly work? And yet it does at Phoenix’s La Grande Orange Grocery, a multi-faceted concept from LGO Hospitality that consistently hosts lines out the door.
Order at the counter and wait for your name to be called. There’s an organized chaos that somehow holds together and keeps customers happy. Seats are scattered throughout the LGO compound, including outside, on the sidewalk and in the adjacent pizzeria, which doesn’t open for full service until 4 PM. If you’re in a rush, LGO Grocery also sells grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and bircher muesli – yogurt-marinated oatmeal loaded with raisins and almonds.
At La Grande Orange, they rely on Mr. Espresso beans from Oakland. Unfortunately, the Havana latte was rich and overly sweet from condensed milk. Better yet was the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice flavored with a splash of pomegranate.
Plenty of pastries are baked in house, but La Grande Orange also utilizes the services of next-door neighbor Tammie Coe Cakes. She’s a skilled baker who attended Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. Her husband Michael John (who goes by MJ) bakes all the bread for LGO. Tammie Coe’s German style cream cheese coffee cake was moist, cool and very good, but still not as satisfying as LGO’s gooey cinnamon-spiked version.
Overall, La Grande Orange Grocery featured a lot of enticing options, and some retail that seemed out of place. However, it would be easy to see visiting the grocery on a regular basis if it was in Los Angeles. Oh wait, La Grande Orange is launching a somewhat similar concept in early May in Santa Monica, minus the majority of the retail.