Taste: Trend: Your 7:30 P.M. Pick-Me-Up

With more than 30 Starbucks shops within a 10-mile radius of Center City, there’s no doubt we love our coffee. Now, it’s not only for early morning or after dinner. When used as a spice, it can intensify meats and bring depth and another flavor level to slow-cooked foods, especially lamb, and even beer.


» West Philly BYOB Marigold Kitchen slow-braises shoulder of lamb with La ­Colombe coffee, and offsets the heartiness by serving the result with creamy chestnut puree.

» The Main Line’s 333 Belrose uses Indonesian coffee grounds, among other ingredients, to marinate grilled pork tenderloin. The marinade is later reduced to add intensity to the sauce.

» Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse serves a coffee condiment with his lamb onglette. He lets the toasted beans steep in a caramelized milk mixture that’s then cooked to the consistency of flan and served hot, melting over the dish as a rule-breaking sauce.

» Rack of lamb is complemented by an espresso-burgundy sauce at Center City’s Twenty 21, with the deep flavors of the wine and coffee balancing out well, and only minimal amounts of caffeine peeking through.

» Dogfish Head Brewery adds fresh-ground organic Mexican coffee to its ­Chicory Stout during the fermentation period, to produce a creamy, peppery, dry-tasting stout that pairs up nicely with barbecue or chocolate.