So when I moved out here, although I looked at a lot of apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland, I ended up going with Rockville over Silver Spring for a number of reasons. Rockville is closer to work, primarily. It is also on the "good" end of the Metro red line (closer to Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan and Metro Center, primarily). It is also, though, very strip-malley. That means that many many things that you would want to buy are within a few miles (which can be good and bad), but it's kind of lacking in character. They are trying to do some things with a new downtown (literally...they just tore down the old downtown and started again), but that's actually pretty far from my place.
Silver Spring, on the other hand, already has one of those brand-new downtowns all done. Apparently it's the thing around here. It's got a Newport on the Leveeish feeling, and they've got stuff like an AFI theater and Whole Foods.
Okay, sidetracked. Moving on. Rockville, in its very stripmallishness, has about four Starbucks within a two mile stretch, but little in the way of coffee shops with character. There is a Panera, which I'm always a fan of for the free wireless and lovely carbey bagels, pretty close to me. One of the Starbucks is in Barnes and Noble, which can be fun. But as my life really is one giant quest for the perfect coffee shop, I'm not about to settle for them.
I had an errand to run in Silver Spring yesterday, so when I was done with the errand, and hungry, I decided it was time to check out Mayorga Coffee there in Silver Spring. It is about half a mile out of the downtown and SO NICE.
It is HUGE, lots and lots of tables (which I appreciate after some Sundays at Awakenings when they've pretty well run out of seating). And some of the chairs are normal chairs, but others are these gigantic leather chairs. It has a nice, cute decor with some character (one of the walls is a giant mural). And they do open mic nights and such. Not that I have any open mic aspirations or anything, but I feel like that's part of a true coffee shop's job. About a 15-20 minute drive from my place, which is not bad, although it feels like a long time now that I'm not driving very much (technically I could take the Metro, but because Silver Spring is on the other end of the red line it would take like an hour).
So, in short, on my first shot here, I found my new favorite coffee shop.
There is still Tryst in Adams Morgan to be tried, though. I've walked past it a bunch and been in once when we were trying to caffeinate on a night out, but haven't been in during its more coffee shoppish times.