By Ron Swarner on September 2, 2010


Neighborhood: University Place

Address/Phone: 4828 Bridgeport Way W., 253.564.9112

Website: Click here

Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday

Noshing/Sipping: In a glass display case, sandwiches, salads, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt and baked goods await your pressed nose. The sandwiches and salads are straight out of the Europa Bistro kitchen. My favorite, the Al Capone with proscuito, mozzarella, artichoke heart, basil, olive oil on sliced Como bread, bursts with flavor. Asked for it grilled. It's to kill for. I believe a full stick of butter went into the making of the bacon breakfast sandwich. Schwartz Bros. Bakery out of Seattle supplies the pastries, including bagged bagels.

Espresso is delicious. Their creamy, Mocha Italia tastes chocolaty but never sickly sweet, and the cappuccinos and lattes are rich and full flavored. The Venetian Latte with its brown sugar sends me to heaven without the crash. They also serve juices, sodas, tea and wine. Yup, wine.

Standard Cup o' Joe: $1.60-$2.10

Bean Source: Signature bean blend from Dillano's Coffee Roasters in Sumner

Crowd: I think it's the world headquarters for the Mother/Daughter Beauty Pageant. Seriously, at least in the morning, moms and their 20-something daughters have the full attention of the neighboring Precision Tune employees, that guy who's always there with his laptop, guys just back from a run and, surprisingly, the two elderly women knitting in front of the fireplace, which isn't turned on yet.

Soundtrack: Sometimes there's music in the morning, but it's too low to hear over the people chatting.

WiFi: Yes

Bonus Points: Choose glass pours and bottles of Novelty Hill-Januik, Stina's and Woodhouse Family Cellars off the wine board in the back. Also, Forza is giving away a scooter. Fill out the slip of paper before Sept. 15, then cross your fingers. You can enter once a day.

The House:

Forza, in Italian, signifies "Strength." You'll need every bit of your strength trying to pull into this Forza between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on weekdays. The traffic stacks up in front of the parking lot in which is already filled with cars waiting for a tune-up. Plus, the cars idling in the drive-thru line overflow out onto Cirque Drive West. It's mayhem! Inside, during this hour, the baristas play bumper cars with their bodies.

The other hours of the day, this Forza - part of a local franchise founded by Brad Carpenter - has a mellower vibe. Golden hues and dark woodsdominate the long, narrow space. It's on the small side compared to the other Forza locations.

My guess if I hurled a Schwartz Bros. bagel at one of the barista's heads, I'd still receive a smile. Forza Coffee Company has received awards for its customer service. At this location, the staff has their sights on the next award.