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No Wi-Fi? That’s The Würst … Der Ping Blitzes More Columbia Hotpsots

May 6th, 2014 · Tags:Cities · Coffee Shops · Wi-Fi


MIzzou Columns sized

No, PingWi-Fi. You can’t judge a coffee bar by its dreadlocked buskers. I totally expected to be overcome by the telltale, pungent odor of patchouli … eau de hippie … when I checked out Columbia’s homegrown Lakota Coffee Company. Not so. There is an earthy vibe … yes … real timber chairs, an American Native tribal name, rustic brick walls and perhaps a more laid back crowd than some of the other places on Ninth … the college scene of Columbia, Mo.


But … Lakota (love the name) may be the best in town for my purposes — a great Wi-Fi network, a delicious chai tea shake (not a frappe) … a shake with lots of ice cream … paninis … and fairly nice baristas (once you get them warmed up).




Elizabeth, Lauren, Hannah at Lakota


In the back, the wall is lined with student lab-like work stations, complete with blinders so the next doctoral student can’t steal your thesis or scope your selfies. The Wi-Fi is password protected, but quick to let you come onboard. And, I am told Lakota is truly “a mom and pop shop.” Wonder if the photo of a Texas dj (KOKE-FM) interviewing a member of Little Feat in the photo by the head has anything to do with “Mom” or “Pop.”



I judged this place harshly from afar, as I sipped tea across the street in a preppier environment. Now that I have sampled, Lakota is my favorite. Great shake and the best Wi-Fi I have found in Columbia – seven pings, perfect.


Ha! … But about those buskers out side of Lakota … nice guys. Apparently they get around. They were playing for coin on the other side of Ninth in front of Kaldis when I left. Maybe I ran them off(?). I wonder if they are Columbia’s only Rastafarians? If they are in fact rastas. I know this. They are conversational. I asked to take a photo and they were obliging and kiddingly requested I put it on my Facebook. I replied it was for a travel blog. But … yes, I put it on Facebook too. (For a second, I thought i might have to flash recent hair-to-arse photos for some freak cred.)


MIZZOU Buskers sized

Playin those “Time-A-Travelin Blues”


“We travel,” said rasta man number one. Ha … I bet you do … “Do you mean time travel?” I asked. This obviously blew their collective minds/souls and they laughed and smiled and changed the lyrics of their ongoing song to encompass busking somewhere in the distant future … in a galaxy far, far away … Peace out fellow time travelers.


Elsewhere in Columbia … a different pace. Rather than a coffee shop, I had to try the world famous pizza at Shakespeare’s. They make a mean pie, no doubt. Love the decor … the typical garage/gas station type signs … ha … with a big guns and ammo sign too. Wonder how that made it past the planning committee here in liberal Mizzou. Cool.




Shakespeare’s … perhaps The Bard of pasta, not bad … a delicious salad and the wireless I crave – 5 pings.


And it was named to the esteemed “Best Bites” list by ABC Good Morning America a while back. It’s been several years, but they seem to still do what they do.


Another block away and across the street is another Mizzou landmark … or so the locals tell me. I wasn’t that impressed when I first walked in the somewhat dark, bar/restaurant space of Heidelberg. Then I noticed the stairway … “Stairway To Heidelberg” balcony, we’ll call it. At the top is a great patio area … Where I am sure many of the legends were born … or at least where the drinks lead to such …


Wi-Fi? … NEIN! Closest thing they have to a hotspot is a bar-top computer game at the end of the bar. Hey … Whose turn is it fraulein?!? MEIN!  … But they do offer a great knockwurst/bratwurst combo with sausage from nearby Hermann, Mo. … As in Hermann the German. Sides include great German potato salad too. My buddy said the drinks were as potent as required for a gentleman of his age …




No Wi-Fi, but uncle Rolphie “The Flying Ping” Pingel,  the WWI flying ace and I agree that German scores points – 6 pings.


Hermann … does it get more German than Hermann? Sidenote: My dad was full-blooded German and one of his three given names was Herman … so, yes, I digress, but here is more on Hermannism totally unrelated to Columbia:


Sons of Hermann



Next up? From the Fatherland, we’ll head back up Ninth and across the street for some Asian persuasion goodness … boba tea at BubbleCup and hopefully some more Wi-Fi.


Know what I sayin?