Rise Coffee in St. Louis Review

rise coffee hash
Image description: A large mural of colorful birds sits on a brick wall

How wonderful is this colorful bird mural? I learned that it’s a Jeff Kapfer creation, and that he had community members paint the birds after he created the outline. The mural is just around the corner from Rise Coffee, where my friend, my brother, and I ate breakfast in St. Louis.

I realize that this review, like the review of Cafe Gratitude in LA, is one that I’ve been procrastinating on for emotional reasons. My brother & I drove out of our way to stay in St. Louis for a night on our Tampa-to-Chicago road trip so I could see an old friend. The visit was great, but a few months later, that friendship greatly shifted.

Image description: a plate of tofu and colorful vegetables

The food at Rise was delicious. They offer two breakfast menu items that can be made vegan. I got the hash. Those are mostly pieces of tofu, not potato cubes like you might be tempted to think. What looks like sauce is pureed sweet potato.

My brother got the avocado toast. It can be made vegan too, but as you see, he got it with an egg on top. I’ve never seen avocado toast with cucumbers or radishes on it. Even though I didn’t have any, I appreciate the twist. What tool must they have to be able to slice radishes so thin? Just a mandoline? I’m thinking I should get one.

I wasn’t consuming caffeine at the time of our visit (dang chronic illness!), but I wish I had been. Rise has fun latte flavors, like lavender and cayenne mocha. I didn’t take photos of the interior, but it’s a cool space. It’s on the small side and has an indie coffee shop vibe. You order from a counter. I assume a lot of people come there to work from laptops.

Image description: mug of coffee and plate with avocado toast

I don’t know if I’ll go to Rise again because I don’t know if I’ll go to St. Louis again. Contemplating this uncertainty feels sad, but also funny, because in August I was asking myself, Should I move to St. Louis? I guess 2019 was the year I was willing to move anywhere.

Lately, I’ve been attending sitting meditation and dharma talks at a meditation center. Through these experiences, I’ve noticed the pain, frustration, and anger I’ve been carrying related to changes in many of my relationships this past year. It’s been a year of great change in all aspects of my life.

Image description: park with trees, grass, and shelter with red and white striped roof

Thinking of plants helps me feel at peace about my relationships that have been changing, or even ending. Flowers wilt, fruit rots. The tree or plant lives on. It’s natural, part of a cycle. Similarly, just as you can have fun in a city on a road trip without deciding to move there, you can enjoy a friendship without maintaining that friendship until you die.

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