Friday, December 03, 2004

 

Cream in my coffee

I'm in New York for the weekend, and anyone who says they live anywhere else has got to be kidding... that or camping out.

NYC is the food capital of the United States of course, but they're also weird about their food here. New York seems to be home of the chain food fad. A ubiquitous local/regional chain of food places will pop up, seemingly overnight, then vanish after a few years, give or take. Remember "Orange Julius"? Or those places that sold "Toffuti"? Ray's Pizza seems to have the title now, and there's also a Starbucks on every block, though I can't see the light at the end of that tunnel.

For some reason -- and I don't know when this started -- New York has become funny about serving you coffee. At places other than Starbucks (which brings its nationwide protocols into the City), they don't put the milk and half-and-half out there for you to add to your own cup of coffee. They insist on doing it for you. What could be the reason for this? It really can't be anything other than thrift, and yet when you order coffee with cream or milk they inevitably add so much that the color of your coffee is a sort of eggshell white.

Today, at an uptown coffee shop that had a nice looking pastry selection, I ordered "rugulach and coffee."

Him: "One regoolah coffee. Anything with that."
Me: "Rugulach."
Him: "Yeah, regulah coffee. You want something to eat?"

After this brief "who's on first routine," I figured out that I had ordered a "regular" coffee and made my pastry order clear by pointing. To cement our budding friendship, I added, "And don't put too much cream in the coffee."
"No, we don't do that," he said, "it's expensive."


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