Salads @ Satori
Text and Photos by Tim Borland
Satori Coffee House, residing at 5460 Old Shell Rd., has always been a popular location for students and locals alike. Adjacent to University of South Alabama, the business is frequented by may people as an independent alternative for their morning cup of joe, as well as a comfortable work space complete with WIFI access.
The ambiance of Satori is potent – local artwork lines the brightly colored walls. Comfortable furniture, albeit mismatched, provides areas to eat, sit, or lounge. Outdoor patios provide more spaces to explore, and a fantastic selection of both retro and indie music can be heard playing over speakers inside. For those who are allergic to the repetitive nature of department store ‘musak,’ the interior of Satori is like a sonic oasis that has been long needed.
“It’s a fun job … I like knowing my boss and working with my boss every single day, not just working for a corporation or something like that,” barista Joshua Plummer expressed.
Joshua Plummer making a drink order
While the excellent coffee, espresso, Italian sodas, smoothies, and charming interior all bear repeating, one would be remiss not to mention the many reasonably priced food items offered at this great West Mobile cafe. The menu includes many items beyond muffins, bagels, and breakfast offerings, such as paninis, hummus, wraps, and desserts. Of particular note are Satori’s salads, which mix fresh ingredients with great flavors that satisfy almost any person’s palate.
Unlike many mainstream corporate restaurants, the salads are not merely refrigerated iceberg lettuce with cheddar cheese, a cherry tomato and a packet of ranch. Rather, the salads at Satori are made fresh with toppings unique to each offering. The Avocado Salad is particularly satisfying, with a mix of salad greens, fresh avocado, cucumber, tomato, peppers, artichoke, feta, and a side of Vidalia onion dressing.
Satori’s Avocado Salad
For those uninitiated to the pleasures of avocado, no caution is needed. Unlike guacamole, plain avocado actually has a somewhat sweet flavor which accompanies the other ingredients quite well. The sweet and zesty dressing is also a major element in what makes this salad stand apart from the rest. The dish, which is nearly a meal unto itself, is well within the average person’s budget.
In addition to the Avocado Salad, there other options such as the Thai Salad, Greek Salad, and Black Bean Salad. When combined with the many Veggie Wrap options, Satori’s offers a plethora of options for vegetarians or those who simply want a healthy meal.
Satori serves as an important space for various like-minded individuals to gather. The Independent Music Collective, a USA campus organization, regularly holds their performance events at the venue, bringing in some of the best independent talent from various areas of the country. Satori serves alcohol as well, so the business can easily transition into an evening hangout for friends to gather. Additionally, Thursday Open Mic Nights are very popular, bringing in area musicians who wish to share their talent from 8-10:30 p.m. each week.
“Running an independent business in Mobile is challenging at times, but you meet a lot of good people and really get to know your customers well. And that makes it worth it,” owner Chuck Cox said.
Satori owner Chuck Cox
Satori is one of a number of great independent businesses for Mobilians who choose to invest dollars within their own city. Patrons who choose to buy local over corporate coffee chains can feel positive about their purchase, which boosts Mobile’s economy and supports a completely unique location rather than a cookie cutter franchise that is on every block. And with food as great as Satori’s Avocado Salad, who could blame them?
~Check back soon for more interviews and reviews of area businesses~
Satori Coffee House
5460 Old Shell Rd, Mobile, AL 36608