Coffee with Sarcasm

Snobbery derives from the instinct to exclude. Those who fetishize wine, for example, don’t want you in their club. You will be either too poor, too gauche, too mainstream or too eager. You will be rejected because you don’t know the rules. Snobs live to deny your membership application.

Coffee snobbery comes in a few different flavors. We must tolerate our *bucks snobs, the “green” snobs and the plain old “I just wanna prove how much more I know than you” snobs. Ach. It’s a bore, but what are we to do?

One idea is to go to the new Buddy Brew, grab yourself a coffee and contemplate life and snobs. In what used to be an appallingly run joint in what should be a lively nook of downtown, Buddy Brew is waking up the place. Ashleigh (our Sunday baristrix) was wonderfully interesting as host, talking about the coffee biz and how BB fits. Non-condescension plus knowledge is a powerful brew.

The coffee’s good too, as if you’d know.


Mall Pall

Here we go again with another corporate catch-all food emporium that over-promises and under-delivers in almost all areas.

One word describing the Carmel experience is awkward. It is awkward…

…in a half-empty restaurant to be told to hang around the hostess’s station while they find a table. Real restaurants invite you to the bar to order a drink, from which someone escorts you to your seats.

It is awkward when a guest asks the waiter for a very specific (and readily available) wine recommendation, only for it to become painfully obvious that the waiter knows no difference between sauternes and syrah. You canNOT call yourself any kind of wine establishment unless your staff is all trained or you spring for full-time sommeliers.

It is furthermore awkward when one’s European-born dining companion receives her “Moroccan Chicken” which has, at plate center right, an entire broccoli stalk. Yes, please enjoy your complete, cut off at the main artery, six-inch piece of fibrous trunk, four-fifths of which most people consider scrap.

Remove the clunky iPad bizarreness – which the waiter snatched from us to more swiftly place our order anyway – and you’re left with…a very nice dining room. Which we were savoring after our meal when suddenly all the lights went up in exactly the same way as at the end of the movie.

A bad one.