About Uncommon Grounds
• Uncommon Grounds is open from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday. It offers a variety of coffees whipped up by the baristas as well as teas, hot chocolate, smoothies and Italian sodas. The daily menu includes sandwiches, salads and soups. Uncommon Grounds is rated the third-best place to eat in Hinesville right behind my other favorites, Izola’s Country Cooking (No. 1) and Good 2 Go Jamaican Restaurant (No. 2). For more information, call 876-7622.
My cats have the uncanny ability of waking me up at least 20 minutes before my alarm does. I say uncanny because I have yet to figure out how they manage to open my bedroom door before swarming into my room like Africanized bees.
My orange cat, Sylvester, is a mere 20-pounder — a lightweight if you will. This gorgeous bull in a china shop is always the first one to jump on my bed. I know it’s him because the mattress quivers under the massive thud of him making his four-paw landing. He then proceeds to politely scamper up to my head and sits down. The weight is enough to crush my skull as his orange fur just spreads across my head, giving me a bad Donald Trump comb-over look. That and the fact that I have yet to have my first cup of coffee makes for a bad start.
Then, there’s Mr. Biggles. He saunters in the room, sits right in front of my face and just stares me down. If Sylvester’s head crush hasn’t jolted me awake, then Mr. Biggles waits for the right moment. He cautiously sticks out his paw, gets that one pointy claw ready — and pokes me right on the nose.
Ow! OK, I’m awake now, thank you.
I sit up and look across the room, and there they are. The cats sitting straight up along the edge of my bed, tails swinging from side to side, and the two dogs sitting at the door as if to say, “Hey, lady, we are hungry, feed us now.”
My pets share my passion for food, and my cats do their best to help me in my culinary endeavors.
One day, Mr. Biggles saw that I was preparing to slice some tomatoes and lettuce for a sandwich, so he promptly sat on the knife and cutting board.
“Dude, really?” I said and lifted him up, tossing him gently back on the floor. I washed the knife and cutting board, cut the tomatoes and lettuce and reached into the fridge to grab some ham and cheese.
“Dude, are you serious?” I yelled as Mr. Biggles lay across the cutting board and started licking the tomato juice off his belly, his tail gently tapping on top of my already-plated lettuce and tomato.
“Oh, come on, now!” I yelled at him. He stopped licking, looked me dead in the eye, stuck out his paw and yanked a tomato wedge off my plate. As quickly as you can say “hocus pocus,” he was gone in a flash, tomato wedge dangling from his mouth.
For the record, he doesn’t like tomatoes. No, this was merely a diversion tactic, for as I chased Mr. Biggles out of the kitchen, Sylvester’s job was to swipe the ham and run. The duo probably met somewhere in the backyard, high-fived each other and ate my ham.
Not their first rodeo trick, nor their last.
One afternoon, I brought out the sandwich press and started to stack up some ham and cheese on a semisweet bun. I placed the sandwich in the heated press and walked to the back of the house to fold some laundry. Within a few minutes I walked back toward the kitchen and could smell something burning.
Poor Sylvester had tried to snag some ham out of my sandwich and failed miserably. He looked up at me and held up his paw. The whiskers on the right side of his face were all singed and curled, as was some of the fur on his paw.
He meowed pitifully.
I quickly lifted him away from the sandwich press and made sure he was OK. Luckily, other than his pride, he was fine.
“That’s what you get for trying to steal my sandwich,” I said to him and walked over to the press to retrieve my lunch.
I opened the press, took out the sandwich and looked at it. Sylvester’s singed whiskers and some of his fur had stuck to the bread.
I went to toss the sandwich but, not wanting to waste food, I cut it all up and fed it to the dogs and cats.
Sylvester licked up the ham, looked up at me — singed whiskers and all — and gave me that knowing look of accomplishment.
Darn cat, it’s no wonder I rarely make a sandwich at home anymore.
Lucky for me — and unfortunately for my cats — I work within walking distance of Uncommon Grounds.
Of course, I love the variety of coffees and teas it offers, and there are many mornings when a large Nutty Caramel Latte is a necessity.
But I often visit Uncommon Grounds for the sandwiches. My personal two favorites are the Uncommon Club and the chicken salad. The sandwiches are made to order with fresh ingredients and carefully crafted to perfection.
The club is stacked three stories high with ham, turkey, roast beef, bacon, provolone and Swiss cheese. Those tasty morsels of meats and cheese are carefully tucked in between three slices of toasted white bread. Add to that the lettuce and tomato and the right amount of mayonnaise, and the Goliath of a sandwich is ready to be conquered.
“I usually eat half for lunch and save half for later in the day,” a co-worker said to me after I brought in an Uncommon Club to the office for lunch this week.
I scoffed at the idea.
“Heck, no, this baby is one and done,” I said, noting that I skipped breakfast.
That is my typical alibi when I plan to pig out. And I did.
And speaking of pig out, I think the next time, I’ll break away from my common habit of the Uncommon club (see what I did there?) and try a squealer. I mean, how can you go wrong with ham and bacon served grilled on bread with provolone, mustard, pickles and banana peppers? It just sounds amazing.
And the best part is, I don’t have to share with my feline friends or their singed whiskers.
Email Leon at email@example.com.