Here's what I've been looking for: the perfect coffee shop where I can take my laptop, enjoy a cup of coffee and perhaps a bite to eat, and get some serious writing done away from the distractions of home.
Commenters here have given me a list of great suggestions, and I'm ticking them off one by one. Yesterday I crossed off the Daily Grind.
The Daily Grind is a chain, which should have been my first clue. The Pasadena branch sits at the southwest corner of Green and DeLacey Streets, tucked away from the sidewalk with a large, inviting patio out front. Bit with music blaring inside and outside, it's hard to concentrate. I could have left, but then how could I blog about it? So...
I had an iced tea - strong, fresh-brewed, very good. They offer a variety of coffees, snacks and sandwich wraps. You can get free wifi with a purchase, limited to two hours.
The service was friendly and the place is clean, but music is a deal-breaker. It was too loud even for conversation, much less writing. I couldn't write a grocery list in that atmosphere.
So I took my iced tea to go. Didn't get much writing done.
If you're by yourself and you want to have coffee and listen to some music, the Daily Grind might be the place for you. But if you want to have a conversation there, you're going to have to yell.