Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Starbucks on Tudor and C street

yes, another starbucks...they are everywhere you know. I can't afford their specialty espresso drinks anymore so went for the drip and a donut, total cost $3.50. I had the Thanksgiving blend, very tasty but I have a bit of a cold so it just tasted good. They also had samples of french pressed christmas blend...also yummy and better than the thanksgiving blend but again one was drip so not a fair comparison. the donut was a old-fashioned  chocolate...i really like the old-fashioned donut and the one that looks like a tractor tire...whats the name of that one....hhmmm

this is an ok starbucks, it was pretty busy, there was only one seat available when i walked in and it was a four seater. i always feel bad going in by myself and taking a four top, but there is no waitress so i wasn't stealing tips or anything, but still i feel bad. there was a mix of christmas and top 40's hits playing. i was right under a speaker so it sounded louder i am sure to me than others in there. there were lots of folks working on homework or work with headphones on and those without were talking one couple was engaged in conversation with another lady, sitting in a comfy chair and they were at a table. she was telling them that she came up from the south east of "america" (lower 48) just for change. wow! i thought...i'll spare you the rest of that thought....anyway her and her 19 year old daughter planned a backpacking ferry trip to south east alaska this summer...sounded fun. i really wasn't trying to listen in she was just one of those loud talkers, i am sure everyone knows one of them and if you don't, you probably are one of them. =D anyway, as people came in i always looked to see if i could move to another open table to give room for them but there never was...i was reading thomas merton and this was the passage, (talking of being alone with God) "'blacking out'...without an interior vocation, simply enters into an artificial darkness of his own making. he is not alone with God, but alone with himself. he is not in the presence of the Transcendent One, but of an idol: his own complacent identity. he becomes immersed and lost in himself." so as i read this, i resigned in myself to offer a seat to anyone who wanted to come in and sit. to which someone did...divine encounter perhaps.

jerry was his name, three kids all living in the lower 48, "america" as i call it. we never got to why he was up here alone. but we did talk about Jesus and the church and life in general. good conversation. i ended up inviting him to thanksgiving at the church. sort of breaking the rule maybe but if we can't bend the rule than it should be broken and its not so much a rule as it is "guidelines" and "comfortability" in place of God's love. love enough.

this starbucks gets 3 1/2 cups U>U>U> J>

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Coffee Cats on Abbott

At the recommendation of a friend I ventured over to the upper east side of south anchorage to "Coffee Cats". It is a cute little place, 6 little tables, 4 of which line up along the wall bench. There is also a taller table in the conner near the door and in the back some black leather or leather synthetic couches. Radio is on playing a local station, 105.7...sounds like hits of the 80's 90's and today sorta station since cyndi lauper is the current artist playing.

I am the only one sitting in here but there seems to be quite a bit of foot traffic stopping in so it is keeping the barista busy between stocking cups and napkins and wiping down already clean counters. I have been talking to her between customers and blasts of cold air from the door opening and closing. The owners originally opened the place to highlight local coffee roasters. They had a roasting business as well. They sold the Coffee Cats store and kept the roasting business but have since closed that or sold it...I missed that part of our conversation. Anyway they now are using Kaladi Brothers Coffee, although they have plans to switch to a local independent soon.

I don't know if this is a great place for really reading or studying with the amount of foot traffic and loud radio but the coffee is good and the costco muffin is fresh. There is quite the selection of coffee flavors and they also sell smoothies and juices. They also appear to have an assortment of soups if I am reading the sign right 12oz for $5.75.

Friendly place for sure, good coffee...cute...but loud. All in all 3 full cups: U>U>U> (it would have been 3 and 1/2 but taylor swift just came on the radio).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cafe Vivachi on Dimond across from alaska usa near the ups store

I was awakened by Daisy this morning nearly clawing my eye out as she wanted desperately for me to take her out. She is an alarm clock without a snooze. So I got up, put on a sweatshirt, my sweat pants, a jacket, scarf, gloves and my slippers and took her outside where -2 degrees was waiting to greet us. greet us it did. after coming back into the house i could not get warm, I was frozen. I had woken up in the middle of the night with a dry throat and that uh oh feeling in my head. I thought here comes the sickness everyone is talking about.  I climbed back in bed at 8am fully dressed, in fact I only took the slippers and the gloves off and wrapped myself in my blanket, a minute later I was out.

I woke up again at 10 and was feeling good (thanks to those of you who knew and were praying), so I took a quick shower, and headed out the door. I new where I wanted to go this morning. A coffee shop that I have been to before but have yet to write about it. Cafe Vivachi. Last time I was here there was an old couple playing "farkle" a dice game and the TV was blasting the History Channel. Today no "farkle" but the TV was blasting the History Channel. The owner, at least I think she is the owner, was sitting and watching intently, "The Fall of Germany" or something like that.

The Cafe Vivachi is small but comfortable. Big windows let the sun in but with adjustable blinds to block direct sunlight. There is a couch and a couple of chairs set around a coffee table near the TV and an electronic fire place mounted on the wall.  The employees all seem to be nice, including the last time I was in. Today's employee was also a stewardess for a local in-state airline, I know this because she was having a conversation with perhaps a son or grandson of the owner. I am assuming this as I say the two of them sitting together and then the young man went behind the counter and was helping himself.

The coffee was good, I of course got an americano and this time a pumpkin muffin...probably from costco which is located just across the street really.  The muffin was good, they had other muffins there, some bananas and an assortment of bagged potato chips. This would be a great place to come and read, low traffic, simple well spaced seating, comfortable atmosphere, if it weren't for the blasted TV. I will come again however, for as I was really just getting settled I got a phone call from a friend, Jim, who was on his way to the church to help me with the wireless internet there, which I am using now to write this blog. Even got the printers back on the network as well. It is good to have friends!

So all in all I will give Cafe Vivachi 3 1/2 cups. U>U>U> J>

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Barnes & Noble Cafe on A and Benson

i love bookstore coffee shops. i don't know why really i just do...there is something about the feel of a giant bookstore, coffee and people.  like a giant personal library except i don't own any of the books, don't know the people and don't have to make the coffee but otherwise its exactly the same.

what was really appealing to the eye was the "starbucks coffee" sign on the cafe sign.  talk about spirits lifted...oh joy to my tastebuds! my steps increased as i got closer to tastebud heaven as i ordered my tall pumpkin spice latte and a roasted tomato compress sandwich. i pulled out my starbucks gift card and was about to pay, "sorry we don't except starbucks cards here." "what?!" i thought, "what of the giant sign, like the bat signal is to batman so is the starbucks sign to me, and you don't except starbucks cards?!?!" i might have said something to the clerk but she was nice and so i couldn't get to upset. besides i had cash to cover so i wasn't to terrible embarrassed.

as i waited for my food and coffee, my sandwich was done well before my coffee...the one barista working the coffee end was slow...and by slow i mean just that slow! "john!" she called. john came got his drink that she set near my food. john now had to reach over my food nearly putting the arm of his coat into or onto my sandwich...that looked really good by the way. "that's the no whip, i have the whip one coming now," she said. "great," i thought, "another chance to have coat lint in my sandwich." luckily she set it further to the side this time and when john came to get his drink no inappropriate sandwich touching.

starbucks coffee is starbucks coffee, you either love it or you don't and if you don't you're crazy, so lets just jump to the sandwich. this roasted tomato, is good enough to make me want to come here for lunch. the bread is a seasoned thin crusted roll with cheese baked on top. it has melted provolone cheese with of course roasted tomato with a basil sauce drizzled on. so so so very good! served with a bag of kettle brand, potato chips with sea salt made for a most excellent lunch.

if you are in the area looking for a great sandwich, great coffee and aren't in to much of a hurry...barnes & noble is the place for you...i am giving it 4 cups, only for the slowness of the barista.

U>U>U>U> (very full cups!)