Latte Loci

There was a time when we stayed in and had family breakfasts on the weekends, but no more. We now always get our weekend breakfasts on the outside. Part of it has to do with my own demand for good excellent coffee to go along with the breakfast, and no home coffee brewer that I’ve had compares to the formidable chrome-plated machines of the baristas, who have mastered the art of slinging java.

However, quality breakfasts do not always coincide with the presence of good coffee; and visa versa. I came up with a system for making the two coincide. I always pick quality breakfast places that are proximate to good coffee bars. I call those coffee bars “latte loci,” since they represent centers or citadels to which I may go and bring coffee back to complement our breakfast place du jour. All breakfast places we go must also have latte loci within walking distance so that, once we are seated, I can get up and go get coffee to go.

Here is a list of our breakfast stomping grounds and their corresponding latte loci:

  • Red Wagon (East End) — Bongo Java East
  • Alley Cat (East End) — Bongo Java East
  • Noshville (West End) — J & J’s Market
  • Le Peep (West End) — Cafe Coco

My plans have been generally undeterred, except for a few weeks ago when I overheard a server at Noshville tell a Starbucks cup-toting patron that local health codes prohibited restaurants from allowing outside drinks to enter their establishments. I haven’t a clue as to whether that is correct or not, but I do keep my smuggling of J & J’s java into Noshville on the down low, just in case. Otherwise, I have never had a problem with servers either at Noshville or elsewhere; they seem generally lenient, if not empathetic, with my coffee fix (caveat: we are good tippers).

And it’s not that those eating places do not serve adequate coffee. It’s just that I demand more than they can offer. It’s not them. It’s me. In the best of all possible worlds, the restaurants and the coffee places would coincide, and sometimes they do, namely in forms of Fido and Portland Brews (although the latter does not offer full breakfast options). But until that day arrives, I’ll get my coffee even further on the outside when we get our breakfast on the outside.

5 Comments so far

  1. jag (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

    If Alley Cat has bad coffee, I would never know. I never got mine. The last time I had breakfast there we received the worst service I’d ever gotten in my entire life. Literally.

  2. doug (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

    my wife swears by the coffee at sweet 16th bakery – which *could* serve both purposes – or at least it’s close enough to red wagon or alley cat to sneak-a-drink.

    btw, never had a problem with the service at alley cat – and I go there about once a week for dinner – maybe it’s just a breakfast thing?

  3. malia (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

    You know…McDonalds has a new coffee brew but then you’d have to sneak the good breakfast food into McD’s and I don’t think they’d like that ver much.

  4. David (unregistered) on April 1st, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    I would add to your list Pancake Pantry (Hillsboro Village) — Fido. The coffee at Pancake Pantry is horrid. I always make the extra effort to get a cup to go at Fido first.

  5. Bo Link (unregistered) on April 1st, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

    I call BS on the “no bringing in outside drinks.” I could see how it might be a health code violation for them to refill that cup, glass, whatever. How can it be against codes for a patron to drink something he or she brought in to the restaurant? Nobody else is going to touch it or be tainted by it somehow. I bet the Noshville server was just pissed because he or she was missing out on another item to add to the bill.

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