Modern General

If Laura Ingalls Wilder were alive today, we suppose she'd pull up to Modern General in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico and find what stood before her both familiar and exciting. Modern General is the brand new cafe concept from serial entrepreneur and chef Erin Wade, who struck gold with her initial venture, Vinaigrette, a salad bistro that opened to rave reviews several years ago and laid the foundation for Modern General.

Modern General is Ms. Wade's take on the classic general store, professing to sell "nothing you don't need" and surely a lot more that you do (or at least I do). Providing gourmet and organic cafe fare that leans towards breakfast staples, the building itself is warm, inviting, and politely insists you sit down and relax for a bit.

What could be called the retail portion of Modern General finds you perusing a carefully curated selection of books, kitchen items, and gardening tools. It all feels thoughtful and appropriate, and it's difficult to resist the urge to purchase an item or two every time you stop in for a fresh pressed juice or tempting pastry.

There are cafes by the dozen everywhere, but on rare occasions you find a place that feels like so much more. A place that offers food, drinks, and chairs but goes beyond that and offers community, togetherness, and genuine friendliness. Modern General is such a place. If Modern General were a person, it would be someone very similar to Erin Wade, and you would love to be their friend.