The inviting space at Elemental begins with a patio and extends inside, where tables are dotted with customers who chat with each other and work on computers. Constructed of light wood, the expansive coffee bar feels open and friendly.
We order at the bar, grab our “element” number (Radium, complete with a one-line history on the back), then find a seat outside at one of the silver metal tables. The sun is shining and a majority of the other outside diners have (very well-behaved) dogs.
Elemental is known for small-batch coffee from around the world that tends to be strong and delicious. My cortado—half espresso, half foamed milk—is just creamy enough to cut the strength of freshly roasted beans.
For lunch, the Rico Suave has slightly exotic ingredients but looks strikingly normal. The flavor proves otherwise. The pork carnitas are tender, complementing spicy roasted poblanos, of which I would eat a whole bowlful. A runny, fried egg, grilled queso fresco, avocado, and chipotle mayo bring it all together on just-toasted slices of Big Sky jalapeño bread.
The Sweet Jesus is set up on Big Sky German rye that has a deep earthy taste. Layered in between is thyme-roasted cauliflower that’s been thinly sliced; a creamy sweet potato mash that almost acts as an aioli or avocado spread; a tomato slice, Gruyère and a fried egg that can’t be contained by the sandwich.
For a side with the sandwich, you can choose from several salads. Mad Beets is creamy goat cheese, spiced walnuts, and a big pile of balsamic roasted red onions. Honey rosemary vinaigrette adds sweetness that balances the tangy beets and creamy cheese.
The final, glorious part of our Elemental experience is a salted chocolate chip cookie. First, it’s quite large. Second, it’s been generously salted. Third, it’s thick and soft to the point where it’s almost dough-y. Almost. The chocolate to cookie ratio is excellent. I wish I had grabbed a few to go.
Elemental started as a wholesale coffee distributor and evolved because they wanted to share their “lab” space with more people. We’re grateful for this, as it is the perfect place to stop on a sunny Oklahoma City day.