Named after the famous film noir classic The Blue Gardenia starring Raymond Burr and Anne Baxter, this small café is one of our favorite places to stop for a breather and a hot cup of java when we hike down to N. Mississippi. Also a micro-roaster of their own line of coffees, this place is what heaven's going to smell like if any of us ever get there.
Set in a little grouping of shops, it has a very pleasant interior with a bar and a couple of tables, but I prefer to sit out outside at a table on the spacious plaza in front, which features a cleverly designed bio-swale. Rainwater from the roof runs down a series of metal chutes (making nice watery noises when it's raining) and into a sunken pool of marshy plants that filters the runoff and allows it to seep into the ground. Practical and beautiful. We like it.
Details: Blue Gardenia Bakery & Coffee Roasters, 3747 N Mississippi Ave. Phone 503-460-2583.