Detour Coffee Co.: 946 N Jackson St (under Darna Lounge), Arlington, VA 22201; detourcoffeeco.com; (703) 988-2373
Between the Clarendon Metro station and a few blocks east of the food trucks at Ballston — like (sometimes), County Manners — is a new(ish) coffee-and-sandwich shop called Detour Coffee. It opened a few months ago — the first week of November, after staff training at the end of October.
We’ve been here for breakfast a couple times, each time opting for The Norwegian — smoked salmon and egg on a lightly toasted croissant with tomatoes, cucumber and greens. It’s spread with sour cream and topped with onion, capers and dill. The poached egg is nice and runny. It comes with roasted fingerling potatoes (or you can ask for fruit instead).
Next time we’ll try something called the Lee Av, a smoked white-fish salad sandwich with egg, tomatoes and greens on a bagel. There are also pastry, small-batch sodas and beers on offer.
There are a number of coffee shops in the area, including Northside Social, Peet’s and, one of our favorites a little further west, The Java Shack. Detour, plopped next to a Jiffy Lube, offers a view of several auto-care shops; but even if you’re not waiting for an oil change, it’s a good place to work or read. It has a quiet vibe, low lighting, roomy bench tables and, of course, Wi-Fi. We haven’t seen it crowded at breakfast, either — in contrast to Northside Social, which is often packed.
What about the coffee? The drip brew is good, strong (enough… we’d take it mudlike if we could) but not bitter. We don’t always go for higher-end espressos, macchiatos and so on, but the menu is pretty broad here, and not just the caffeine section. Next time we’ll try something we haven’t seen on coffee menus much: a Flat White.