We stopped by Lotus Up Espresso & Deli on a chilly Monday for an early lunch. Like many buildings in Lead, this cafe’s new home is tall and built into a hill. Several cars were in the drive-thru and a few locals were lined up inside when we walked in, giving us time to look over the menu, handwritten in brightly colored chalk.


The menu consisted largely of paninis and wraps, with salads and bakery favorites, like caramel rolls and bagels, thrown in for good measure. We asked if breakfast was still being served, as it was approaching noon, and they told us it was served all day. Points for them.

The woman behind the counter didn’t bat an eyelash when we ordered the Fajita Breakfast Wrap, Quesadilla Wrap, Turkey Apple Sandwich, cup of Clam Chowder, Caramel Latte, Chai, and Diet Coke – all for two people. More points for them.

We took our number and grabbed a seat in the dining room, which is flooded with natural light from the large windows overlooking the town. Had it been a little nicer, we would have sat on the large deck.


After about five minutes, someone brought us our drinks. The Caramel Latte was robust and not overly sweet. The Chai was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was rich and creamy, and not overly spicy. As my dining companion commented, “Wow. It doesn’t taste like I’m drinking a candle.” She’s quite the connoisseur.

The remaining minutes waiting on our meals were occupied looking at the local art hanging on the walls. Our food arrived a short time later, spread before us as a veritable feast of wraps and capped plastic ramekins and artful sides. As usual, we immediately did the hand-off of halves, so as to try everything.

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