I was visiting Hutchinson Island on vacation last week, and I always prefer to support independent local businesses whenever possible. So, in looking for an alternative to Starbucks (yawn, and meh) for my morning beverage after my sunrise beach walk, I Googled the area and found Bunkhouse just a few miles away and well rated by Google reviewers. I was instantly charmed upon arrival, not only by the adorable little cheery yellow and white spotlessly clean cottage, but also by the immediate greeting and once-over by the friendly resident little border collie, Lil. There was only one person behind the coffee bar, whom I found out later is also the owner, so with several people in front of me, there was a bit of a wait to place my order. But I was on vacation, so I didn't mind the wait at all, and I didn't notice anyone else seeming impatient either. I ordered a chai tea latte, and a breakfast sandwich. I am a dedicated omnivore, and I usually do crave meat for breakfast, but the vegetarian sausage in the simple but tasty warm english muffin/egg/cheese sandwich was pretty convincing and satisfying. The chai was perfect, frothy, piping hot, and just spicy enough to soothe my unfortunate sore throat that morning. I sat at the bar to enjoy my breakfast and chatted with a couple of locals to learn a little more about the history of Bunkhouse, which is apparently fairly new to the area. After I finished, I ordered a cold-press iced coffee to go for my later-sleeping friend back at our hotel, and played with Lil a little bit, throwing her toy for her a few times outside before heading out. The sips I stole of my friend's iced coffee were excellent as well. I enjoyed the experience so much that I went back each remaining morning of my vacation. Each visit was equally charming and tasty. The second day I noticed locally sourced chicken and duck eggs in cartons for sale on the counter. Had I a kitchen, I absolutely would have picked some up. They looked amazing. I also tried the Mayan Mocha, which was rich and spicy and thankfully not overly sweet like most mochas elsewhere. And the third day I also had one of the vegan/GF muffins which I had been eyeballing the previous two days. Mine was pumpkin cinnamon, with plenty of crunchy pepitas for texture, and my friend (who finally got up early enough to join me) had a blueberry muffin which looked to be bursting with big juicy berries. Lil the coffee dog was a rapt audience for the muffin-eating. I imagine she samples plenty of them, whether from the furtive fingers of soft-hearted guests (like me. Shhh.), or from random fallen crumbs. I did not get a chance to try the acai bowls, but they seemed popular among the other customers. The smoothies looked great too, so I'll have to try those next time for sure. The pricing was a little bit high, but for this charming atmosphere, level of excellence in quality and attention to detail, as well as responsible sourcing for every ingredient in the shop, it was absolutely worth it.
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