Today, Progress Coffee is celebrating its fourth anniversary, and in honor of four years of solid business and a fiercely loyal customer base, Progress is offering everything on its menu for free. Instead of charging it's regular prices, it's taking donations for some great local non-profits.
Progress is always pulling little stunts like this - offering free coffee here and there, for customer birthdays, local music events, or art shows. It's always trying to be honestly progressive: all the coffee is organic and fair trade, the barristas make a decent hourly salary. I wonder how the place manages to give so much away and stay in business.
Oh wait: it's always packed, and you can't get a sandwich for less than $7.
But, oh, what great sandwiches. In particularly, the 5th Street Turkey. It is the best turkey sandwich in Austin. Possibly the best turkey sandwich ever. Or at least, the best I've ever had.
It's thinly sliced roasted turkey on toasted ciabatta bread, along with cream cheese, spring mix greens, and the cout d'gras - the rosemary habanero jelly. The jelly makes this sandwich rise above the rest through a harmonious mixing of savory, sweet, and spicy. It's so good, I would gladly pay $7 for it, but it was even better to get it for free today.
Location: 500 San Marcos St., at the intersection of 5th street and San Marcos, just east of I-35
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 6:30 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Accepts: all major credit cards
Rating: 4 stars
Bottom line: Coffee with a conscience, along with a stellar turkey sandwich? I could not ask for more.