1012 King St., Alexandria: killeresp.com
“I don’t think I’ve even introduced myself,” says the girl with the Boston Terrier on her lap. “I’m Madeline.”
Coffee shop culture still exists, where strangers giggle as a woman pets the cafe’s dog, Buddy. One wall exposes red brick, opposite: a mural where an octopus’ limbs provide seats for a pin-up, an owl—and Buddy.
Killer E.S.P. cultivated a menu of cravings. Caffeine (or the “e” for espresso), sorbetto made in-house and pies from Dangerously Delicious Pies, a shop with locations in Baltimore and D.C.
The pies swing both ways: savory reveals in a tofu curry with rice and cauliflower in a light crust. The Baltimore bomb, a chess pie, is a bit gooey and akin to warmed cookie dough.
What didn’t make the acronym’d name: another “e” for empanada’s (from Julia’s) and a “g” for gelato, made in-house. Fun flavors include red velvet, tasting just like the cupcake and spice cake, reminiscent of cinnamon.