Thursday, September 22, 2011

Starbucks on Dimond and Old Seward

this place is busy. i arrived here at about 12:30 to grab a bagel and coffee. the bagel was free as just yesterday i received a card in the mail from starbucks for a free one. how can you pass up free bagels? i don't know, i didn't. i have been to this starbucks before, i like it. the location is decent although in a very high traffic area. pretty much every seat is taken. people reading news papers, books, kindles, nooks, and laptops litter the place. enjoying good coffee and well at least for me a bagel.



there are also tables of people having conversations. for instance the two girls behind me are sharing stories of trips taken. the one just returned from someplace in europe. she seemed to have enjoyed herself and has convinced her friend that, "you have to go there or die!" seems a bit dramatic to me but i don't know i have never been anywhere "over the pond" as you say. i have been to panama where i acquired my taste for coffee. surprisingly i didn't start drinking it black but with "sweetened evaporated milk". not sure why i have stopped that, perhaps i should try that again? we'll see.

i guess what reminds me of panama in this moment since it isn't any closer to the european continent is the service man, who is meeting with another guy dressed pretty casually discussing their relationship with God. i have been eavesdropping into their conversation. i know thats terrible but i am interested in the topic. i am not surprised that i haven't heard the name Jesus, i am sure that is who they are talking about but why not mention His name? are we afraid of it? i think many of us are. whether we're afraid of what people might think of us or offending others and what they might believe, i'm not sure which, maybe a little of both.

i know that if you sit with me as some have come accustomed will hear me ask, "who is Jesus to you?" and then "what is Jesus doing in you," "what is Jesus been doing through you?" "what is it that Jesus wants to do in you" and finally, "what does Jesus want to do through you?" i know for me today Jesus has been my companion and friend. we have had some great conversations. we talked about a little book that was recently loaned to me that i began reading through today, "an hour with...." well some guy i can't recall at the moment (i know, terrible). but in that conversation i was impressed to follow through on a life calling. foster care.

i went online and printed the forms and have been filling them out here at starbucks. there is such a great need to good foster homes. having worked with the system in two states, first california and also while here in alaska, i know first hand of the great need. the need for us to give to others and do for others and answer the call to pay attention to and help, widows and children. i am now in a place that i can do this again and Jesus today reminded me of that fact. Jesus through in me and through me because of who He is to me.

Now back to the purpose of this blog...this starbucks is great for filling out papers, having conversation, listening to conversations, surfing the web and watching people but to concentrate on reading one must not be easily distracted. this is my catch 22. i need people around me but i need them to be quiet...ahahahaha

so the journey continues.....on to the next!

all in all i do like this starbucks and give it 4 cups :):):):)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kaladi's Coffee, New Sagaya Midtown Market

Today I met my friend Brian, at the Kaladi Brothers Coffee, inside the New Sagaya Midtown Market. This is definitely not a place to go if you are interested in a place for some quiet reading. It is a happening place with all sorts of people from every walk of life converging in a market atmosphere that reminded me very much of Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Washington, without of course the flying fish and the pear since it is in midtown.

As I pulled into the very busy parking lot I was immediately asked by a gentleman if I wanted to buy some chew. I assumed it wasn't chewing gum and declined ever so kindly as he opened the pack and grabbed a chunk to put in his mouth. I wondered if that was the pack he was trying to sell me or if he intended only to give me some of that now opened packet. I didn't stick around to find out as I was running a few minutes late. A fact my friend kindly reminded me of with a text, "Dear Lord, bless this food and be with Chris as he is running late. Keep him safe as he speeds across town! In Jesus name, Amen!" I was unable to reply as my phone died as I read it. Seems not only is he a pastor but also a comedian.

I like the atmosphere in there. It is a great place to go and talk over lunch or coffee. They have an assortment of food to choose from, sandwiches, salads, soups, pizza or calzones, chinese, and enchiladas. I of course had the enchiladas because when given a choice I can only choose mexican every time. It's some sort of psychosis I am sure. The enchiladas were decent but really what does one expect going into a place like that anyway...at best subpar for any mexican. The sad thing is I always wish I had gotten something else or at least wish I had gone to a real mexican restaurant.

As far as the coffee goes, you really can't go wrong with Kaladi Brothers and I played it very safe by just getting an americano, black. I drink most of my coffee black because if its not black its not coffee, its a latte or something else with coffee in it. I'm not knocking latte's as I enjoy those too but its not coffee in the tradition sense.

Anyway, New Sagaya Midtown Market, is a win win if you are looking for a place to visit with a friend and drink coffee, eat lunch and visit. It has a specialty market if you wanted to grab some food you might have a problem finding at safeway or fred's. Just not a good, quiet place to read and collect your thoughts.

I am still giving it 4 out of 5 coffee cups because the place is just cool!

Still on the hunt though for the place that fits...so the journey continues..................

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Terra Bella's

Today I met up with an old friend and a new friend at Terra Bella's in Anchorage on Dimond (this is how dimond is spelt in Alaska, I do believe it is a person’s name) and Old Seward near Bed Bath and Beyond. This is a cute little “organic” coffee and sandwich cafĂ©.  I walked into a full room and thought, "this is a good sign." I surveyed the menu and the coffee of the day caught my eye, "Mexico Chiapas" that was an easy decision; now for something to eat. The menu wasn't too extensive, mostly soups and sandwiches. I studied the menu for a minute before locking in on, "Terra Turkey Avocado Sandwich." I took my seat and anticipated the arrival of my lunch and friends. That decision was made for me as well as there was only one table to choose from. I sat down took out my Kindle and began to read just then my coffee and sandwich arrived, “that was quick” I thought to myself. I took the cup of coffee brought it to my mouth; let the aroma waft up to my nostrils…I was pleased. Taking a sip the fullness of this dark roast set my taste buds into a euphoric state. It only enhanced my anticipation of my sandwich but that would have to wait as my friend (the older in time known but younger in age to my new friend I was yet to meet).  

We greeted each other as friends do and knowing that the table I chose wasn’t sufficient said, “This was the only table available when I arrived but some people have left so we can move.” This idea was agreeable so we move into the heart of the coffee shop. My friend after setting his things down went to order his food.  He returned quickly and I had yet taken a bite of my sandwich. I should tell you that the sandwich was served with a pickle spear and tortilla chips.  When he sat down we entered into a conversation that required his full attention to which he was obliged to offer and since I was taught not to speak with my mouth full I held off eating this sandwich that now was calling my name. His wrap arrived, also served with a pickle spear and tortilla chips, so we took a small break and began to eat. 

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I enjoy “Mexican” style food and tortilla chips fall into that category. I picked one and bit into it and………………stale. Yes, stale, like the chips had been sitting in an open bin for a week. I ate them anyway but come on…stale chips?! “Ok I thought, its only chips.” Taking turns in our conversation I took a bite of my sandwich. Oh, my sandwich, I had been anticipating this bite from the moment I saw it on the menu, anything with avocado should be a win.  I wanted so badly for this sandwich to be a win, but, alas it was not. The bread, a wheat bread, was dry and cut way to thick.  The dressing on the sandwich, cream cheese base, was good but being a cream cheese didn’t help the dryness of the bread. And of course, turkey has a tendency to be dry if not served fresh and cooked to perfection…neither case here. Sadly the whole thing was far too dry to really enjoy.  Stale chips, dry turkey sandwich, saved by a pickle spear? Well, it’s hard to mess up a pickle spear.  To Terra Bella’s credit my friends wrap was, “really good” as described by him. Just as we finished eating we were joined by our new friend and enjoyed some more good conversation in the quaint atmosphere of Terra Bella. When we finished I stayed behind for a bit to read and enjoy the atmosphere and my very delicious coffee. I will try Terra Bella’s again; if for no other reason than the coffee…but rest assured I will steer clear of the “Terra Turkey Avocado Sandwich.”

All in all I give Terra Bella 3 and ½ out of 5 coffee cups but that half is half empty not half full =D