Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Drowning in the Farmer's Market
The office where I work is about 2 doors down from the Gehry Building, the home of Frank Gehry's architectural firm. Within the last year, much to our excitement, they added a tiny food stand to the front of the building, simply named delicious. It's small, but quite pleasant -- the name of the cafe wraps around the cheery blue building in chubby mint green letters, and there is a small sunny patio with Gehry-designed chairs to enjoy a few minutes away from work. The food options suit Gehry's stylish, worldly workforce: sushi and salads, Orangina and Acqua Panna.
On afternoons when staring at the computer screen is making my eyes glaze over, and it's all I can do from falling asleep at my dark desk, pressing fifty keys at once as my head hits the keyboard, I know exactly what to do. I sneak away to delicious for an affogato: a scoop of vanilla ice cream 'drowning' under 2 shots of espresso. Aside from the caffeine kick and the sugar rush, the contrasts of the affogato get me going: sweet and bitter, cold and hot.
On a groggy weekend, I had walked over to the Farmer's Market, and while there, needed a kick (figuratively speaking). I couldn't decide what I wanted at first: a snack or a drink? Sweet or savory? I was kind of sleepy after all -- thoughts were kind of hazy. But then it hit me: affogato! But... how? No fancy cafes here, and an blended coffee drink would just be too much sweet, too much powder, and too much air. In a someone-put-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter moment, it hit me. I calmly walked over to Coffee Corner*, and ordered a double shot of their espresso from the nice kinda-goth lady behind the counter (have you noticed that Coffee Corner, as well as the bakery behind the crepe place, always have nice kinda-goth ladies behind the counter?). I took my real espresso glass, and walked a few feet to Bennett's ice cream. Ordered a scoop of their homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
I took my ingredients to a table, and started mixing. I paid no mind when people looked at me kind of funny as I mixed my beverage with my dessert (or perhaps they were looking at me funny because I was taking pictures of my food. Wow, I really am a weirdo). After all, with a little creativity, I linked two great Farmer's Market establishments, to create a custom concoction just for me.
*I like to repeat this story about Coffee Corner -- aside from their retro pricing, great coffee and tea, and the noteworthy servers mentioned above, it's yet another reason I always choose them over the Starbucks and Coffee Bean at the Farmer's Market: Several years back, one of their regulars was dismayed because the Farmer's Market was moving from silverware to plastic. So, just for him, Coffee Corner kept one real spoon. (This story came from this LA Weekly article, which came out back when the Grove was first opening.)