Coffee Shop Chronicles

House of Brews is the first stop in the Coffee Shop Chronicles located in San Fernando, CA.  Non professional  video of a day in the life of hanging out in a coffee shop is taken.  In this video hot chocolate is served in the eclectic shop filled with cultural art work and items for sale.  Our intro is brought to you in Spanish by Erika L Holmes, Chef Jesus Bonilla and Carla Crudup.  San Fernando is heavily populated by Mexican Americans.  The traffic at House of Brews is diverses as their is courthouse nearby. 

Located in the historic city of San  Fernando

As you enter the City of San Fernando along picturesque, palm-lined Brand Boulevard, you discover a community rich in California history dating back almost two centuries. Named in honor of a Spanish Saint/King, San Fernando was selected for settlement long before the rest of Los Angeles. The City grew out of the ranching activities surrounding Mission de San Fernando Rey, whose graceful porticoes still stand today. By the early 1800’s the settlement had blossomed into a small trading center where farm crop, olives, wine, and thousands of livestock raised by the resident Indians were bought and sold.

San Fernando enjoyed a brief gold rush in the 1840s when nuggets were discovered in a nearby canyon. In 1874 , San Fernando became the valley’s first organized community, thus earning the title “First City of the Valley”. With the arrival of the railroad two years later, town lots soared from $10 apiece to $150.  (City of San Fernando Website)

Cafe Review: House of Brews -San Fernando,CA

by Crystal A. Johnson

house of brews muralOn a day when my wireless connection simply would not work, a friend of mine suggests that I go down to House of Brews.  As a new resident of  the northern part of the San Fernando Valley, I do not know of the place.  I listen to the directions and make my way there.  San Fernando has it own charm with 1800’s Spanish architecture meets 1950’s.  Little did I know the cafe has been around for eight years.  Many locals are aware of this spot. When I walk into the shop, I am pleasantly surprised.  The colors are vibrant and the menu board is fun.  The drink choices are playful creations mixed with classics.   I knew quickly this would become a repetitive stomping ground for me.  The ambiance is filled with eclectic artwork, culturally inspired murals, and boutique items. 

The customer base is diverse ranging from academics to white collar professionals.  Blanca Diaz, the owner shares with me details of how the demographic changes throughout the day.  With the courthouse nearby, many people lounge at the cafe.  The free Wifi with menu purchase attracts the laptop crowd.  Diaz adds that after 5PM the area locals which are primarily Latino frequent the place. 

Now that the setting has been described lets move on the beverages.  On my first day which was a hot Sunday, my choice is La Siesta iced tea.  Translation for people in certain parts of the country is half and half.  The beverage is half tea and half lemonade. 

 On my next visit, I go with the Mexican Hot Chocolate.  Diaz boasts assuredly that House of Brews offers the best Mexican Hot Chocolate in town.  She says the Ibarra chocolate is ground everyday.  As I order, I just happen to be on the phone with my friend Eduardo.  Overhearing my order, he inquires if I am at House of Brews.  I confirm then he tells me that he is a regular.  Eduardo mentions that everything he has tried is good including breakfast items.  The presentation of the Mexican hot chocolate is very attractive with whip cream and squiggly designs on top.   Chocolate lovers this is a rich and tasty drink.

On another visit I go with the  Green tea Matte Latte.  The matte does rhyme with the latte and it is good.  Again the presentation makes the drink look quite appetizing.  It does not disappoint. 

A suggested beverage by the owner is the Earl Grey Latte.  I am sure the sounds of this for Earl Grey tea lovers has them at hello.  I will revise the article when I can share an update on the Earl Grey Latte.    Right now, the batting average for the beverages at House of Brews is looking good.  Visit their website at : http://www.house-of-brews.com/

If you would hear some yelps about the location from locals visit: http://www.yelp.com/biz/house-of-brews-san-fernando