After our Spring Youth Football season ended, we transitioned into a Folkstyle Youth Wrestling season that took us all over the Phoenix area for competitions. This included heading down to Casa Grande, Glendale, and other cities. On a trip home from Glendale, I searched for a new coffee shop and came across Desert Eagle Coffee. At first, I thought for sure it was going to be gun-themed. It’s seemed very probably to me that in the very pro-gun state of Arizona, a cafe could be named after the famed 50 caliber handgun. But, no. No, it’s not.
Location. Instead, the cafe is a extra large double sided coffee drive through stand with room for a roaster in the back. The red Diedrich is locked in a glass room, visible to the cars as they wait in line. It’s a neat visual piece, and seems to lend more credibility to the drive though being much more than just a coffee stand. The free-standing building sits in a parking lot next to a larger outdoor retail shopping mall in the Bellair neighborhood and a quick drive from the golf course. It has fantastic visibility right on high-traffic Bell Road.
Service. The service gave me a very Dutch Bros vibe. A barista meets you at your window to take your order into a mobile ordering device, and then they head back to start making your order while the car in front of you collects their drink. Talking with the barista, I discovered Desert Eagle Coffee is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crazy. I asked how many baristas manned the shop overnight and how busy they were most days at 2 am. She said sometimes it’s just one employee and that it gets scary there alone at night. As far as being busy, it’s very hit and miss. Some mornings they’re very busy and others it’s dead all night. However, more often than not it’s very creepy to work the stand during the graveyard shit.
The names of their drinks are a little quirky, and it fit the theme of the whole shop. They include the Screaming Eagle, the Choco Raptor, the Rising Phoenix, and others. The Dutch Bros similarities continue past strange names to including white coffee on the menu. Like ole Dutch, it’s hidden in the top right hand portion of the menu. I’m not sure if they roast it on location like the rest of their coffee, but if I ever head back I’ll be sure to ask.
Coffee. Though I didn’t try the white coffee or even ask about it, the barista told me all their regular coffee was roasted on site. And that’s what I really wanted anyway. There was no way I was going to try white coffee while tired, hot, and thirsty. I’ll do more nastiness experiments another time. Instead, the Mrs. and I stuck to fancy, fufu, iced, and blended coffee and syrup awesomeness. The drinks were made with hot shots of a LaMarzocco espresso machine. It was good. Each drink actually tasted of coffee, not just syrup flavors.
The kids each had their own drinks, and those included fruit smoothies and non-coffee versions of the caramel and chocolate iced blended drinks. They all enjoyed them immensely. Of course, it’s not cheap to buy six drinks at a cafe instead of stopping at a gas station and picking the kids up something different, but it was convenient.
Conclusion. Convenience is the name of the game for any drive through cafe, and with Dutch Bros and others providing great service for the limited time you spend with them, Desert Eagle was equally impressive. You get a good drink with good service.