Joe Maxx Coffee Company
Cold Brew on Ice
White & Dirty – Sweet Vanilla Latte steamed with ground Cinnamon
Black & Tan Frappe Sample – Espresso Blend, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Broccoli, Chicken, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Pocket
Mixed Berry Pie Bar
Chocolate Chip Scone
Nutella Bacon Twist
Although where one lives determines many things, where they come from cannot be changed, and although many may feel that Ohio and the surrounding states are little more than ‘fly-over’ country The Heart of it All actually contains a lot of passion and the roots of several national brands, the recent expansion of Youngstown’s Joe Maxx Coffee Company to Florida and the Southeast Corner of Las Vegas bringing the legend of a World War Two Era Pilot to a city where a good ‘cup of Joe’ remains scarce in all corners.
Now open for just under five months and slowly spreading the word by way of little more than word of mouth, a location near the original Bachi Burger and daily hours from 6:30am to 6:30pm plus a drive through generating a fair amount of traffic, it was just past 8:00am on Saturday that the front doors of the spacious shop decorated by local artists was entered, the vibe cool and casual with clean lines and a lot of white plus some comfortable looking couches alongside a handful of chairs and tables.
Playing everything from ambient modern rock to classics like My Girl at a low level, the smell of coffee and baked goods hanging in the air, it was after a brief chat about life back in the Midwest with a General Manager from the original store that the Las Vegas expansion was explained by the fact that one of the original investors was based out of Henderson, while the store’s good fortune in finding former Mothership Intern Rishi Stocks to reinvent the bakery was described as “an accident, she found us” – and that is most certainly a good thing.
Using Beans roasted in nearby Cleveland, several Organic Free-Trade Origins forming blends used to make everything from Drip to Cold Brew and Nitro, plus several Lattes and Frappes, it was with both a Toddy-based pour over on Ice plus the Cinnamon-rich White & Dirty in hand that a table was located, Ms. Stocks and another man bringing out seven of the scratch-baked Pastries with the Manager quick to follow offering a sample of the indulgent Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate thickened Frozen Black and Tan.
Impressed by the quality of the Cold Brew, a clean blend that starts strong but finishes fruity, while both the Frappe and hot Latte are clearly well thought out despite not being too Espresso-forward, a focus on Pastries made by the self-trained young woman who states that she “discovered my love for baking a couple years ago” shows that with enough heart and effort one does not require a degree to make something delicious, the Broccoli, Chicken and Cheese smooth and creamy inside a flaky pastry shell that makes one wonder why there are so many lousy Pot-Pies in Las Vegas when a small Coffee Shop is already making something similar, and better.
Progressing through the selections slowly, a choice to focus on Fruit first leading to bites of a Lemon Bar that is welcomingly sweeter than many, though perhaps not as sour as it *should* be according to purists, Rishi’s popular Blueberry-Raspberry Pie Bars made their return to the weekend menu with outstanding results, the juicy berries soaking into a thick crust without rendering it flaccid while the crumble on top was smooth, buttery and mellow.
Happy to see Scones featured at Joe Maxx, the time spent with Beth Ryan-Small in Henderson hopefully paying dividends as the unique collection of flavors at Mothership continues to set a high bar for the rest of Sin City, Rishi’s version is scaled down to about half the size and more focused on traditional ingredients without being any less delicious, certainly not the dry versions that require Clotted Cream and Jam over in England, but rather a hefty sort of pasty offered with Blueberries or Chocolate Chips that eats akin to a French Financier.
Acknowledging that things were about to get rich, the use of Nutella rarely subtle, it was with water replacing Coffee that a fork and knife were used to pierce the golden shell forming an arched cavern around a dense center of the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread, each bite from beginning to end growing a little more filling while the Bacon-layered Twist took very slightly different approach that almost seemed as if it was made of Phyllo Dough, tiny flakes raining down with each bite from the lengthy stick that is equal parts sugary and savory.
FOUR STARS: Not yet making everything in house, though that is indeed in the works, Joe Maxx Coffee Company continues the recent reinvention of Las Vegas’ Coffee culture with good Beans and clever Drinks at a fair price while those looking for an alternative to Starbucks or Grouchy John’s less-inspired breakfast items would be well served to take a look at whatever Rishi has most recently put on the shelves.
RECOMMENDED: Mixed Berry Pie Bar, Bacon-Nutella Twist, Chocolate Chip Scone, Breakfast Pocket, Cold Brew.
AVOID: Items such as the Cinnamon Roll are proofed in house, but not made from scratch, while the Nutella Croissant is definitely a pastry best shared.
TIP: Social Media Check-Ins yield a free small Coffee.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.