A long drive to Kuttikkanam, situated some 3500ft above the sea level, calls for coffee and snacks. The Beans and Flavours Cafe, which is near the Misty Mountain Plantation Resort near the Old Palace Road and the Tomb of Peer Muhammed, is a perfect pit-stop to separate your journey from the destination.
This is perhaps the district's first highway, eat out and that is their unique selling point.
The coffee here is something to write home about. Rino Eldo Jacob, the owner says that they grind their own coffee and that is the secret behind its flavour. On offer are espresso, cappuccinos and lattes and cold coffees. Since there are a couple of colleges in the area they have a special menu for students. Cappuccino under this scheme starts at about Rs 30 and burgers come for Rs 49. This, he says, makes the Cafe a favourite among the youth.
Sesame chicken, fish strips and nuggets are among the fastest moving items. The fish items on the menu depends on the availability of fresh catch, he adds. If you are looking at more than a snack, they offer a variety of rice items too. Mexican rice with crispy chicken and crispy veg. nuggets, non veg curries and veg curries have many takers.
The Cafe, that has been running successfully for the past five years, has over 26 varieties of cakes to choose from- all of it freshly baked there only. Their coffee based cakes and pastries taste nice and so do the cupcakes and tea cakes. The Belgium blueberry, raspberry and passion fruit flavoured cakes are the hottest sellers. 'For festivals and special days', the Cafe comes out with a special menu. For Onam, says the owner, we had tender coconut Payasam'.
The Cafe hosts birthday celebrations and official meetings of planters from the area. It is a favourite stopover for bikers in the area as this falls between Kuttikkanam and Panchalimadu.
The area is a favourite location of Mollywood and is constantly abuzz with movie stars. For them, Beans and Flavours Cafe is a favourite unwinding point after a long stretch of shooting in the misty hills of Kuttikanam or Panchalimedu. A glance at the guest book shows that almost all the famous stars have been here.
Actor Parvathi's scribble sums it up. The Cafe has an awesome vibe, she says and we couldn't agree more.