Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Long-Overdue Cup o' Joe

Countdown to the Seattle Marathon: 12 Days

Okay. I know that every week, I announce that the coffeeshop of choice is my new favorite. But it's really, really, really true this week. Seyeon and I hit up Kaladi Brothers Coffee (Alaskan coffee!) on Pike Street for afternoon chai and a long catch-up session after too much time apart.

A note, again, on Yelp: Its reviews of everything are phenomenally accurate. I know so many people out there are skeptical of the internet's ability to offer honest, accurate information, but bear with me. Last week, Alan and I explored a bar/pub/cafe/restaurant called McMenamin's Six Arms. The Yelp consensus seemed to be: "Awesome food, fun atmosphere, but horrendous service." While one such review could easily be a fluke occurrence - one bitter, never-satisfied customer's onetime experience - the sheer volume of reviews takes care of the potential "selection bias" issue, and honestly, paints a very on-target portrait of a place. In the same way that reading reviews of hosts on CouchSurfing.com can give a realistic portrait of a stranger on the internet in what otherwise could be a sketchy situation, Yelp allows me to gauge ahead of time what kind of experience I can expect from a business.

Six Arms, for the record, was exactly as Yelp told me it would be. Alan and I shared a blue cheese burger and a pesto/mozzarella sandwich and tater tots, all of which were phenomenal. (*Almost* on par with good old Feve grub from Oberlin...) Our drinks, all interesting microbrews, were tasty. Our waitress, though? Easily the most stressed out human being I'd seen in years. She was the only one, evidently, working on the entire upper level, running back and forth with beady, darting eyes as she frantically scribbled orders, bussed tables, apologized to everybody, and then promptly disappeared altogether for twenty minutes at a time.

So, does reading reviews ahead of time invite a self-fulfilling prophecy then? Perhaps. But I feel I still manage to enter most of my Cup o' Joe venues with an open mind and as objective eyes as possible...I just don't like to waste my time (or money!)

So, Yelp prevailed again today. The reviews on Kaladi Brothers raved about their one-dollar rice krispie treats which, indeed, were fantastic.

The cafe is located beneath the Gay City offices, and the vibe of Kaladi lends itself to quirkiness, a laidback atmosphere, and acceptance. I felt a strong throwback to Oberlin upon walking in!

Other +s:
+ fantastic music choices (Seyeon would like me to note that this is her new #1 coffeeshop in all of Seattle, for many reasons, but above all, for its musical taste)
+ tons and tons of coffee-flavor options
+ really friendly baristas
+ meeting room space for nonprofits
+ fun eavesdropping opportunities
+ THREE varieties of chai (including a decaf option!)
+ laptop-friendly wi-fi, outlets, & public computer
+ gay-friendly/fabulous environment
+ interesting artwork, including a big digital collage of kaladi-frequenters' photos
+ good mood lighting

But, one big negative (an isolated occurrence, I hope?):
- unbelievably loud, obnoxious middle/high-schoolers in the after-school hour, dropping f-bombs and talking way too loudly about pot, their sex lives, and the homecoming dance.
I've never been so close to feeling markedly violent toward strangers. Note to self: Avoid "cool" public "hang-out" spots during after-school hours. I feel old :( but really, I just want to be able to go about my day and enjoy my life in peace and quiet!

Speaking of peace and quiet, I have two days off in a row from work, which is becoming increasingly rare. Today was good for: catching up with people, putting in my last long-ish (15 miler) run before the marathon, enjoying the sunshine (also becoming increasingly rare), and beginning to tackle a to-do list for the rest of November that's gotten out of control. Oof...

1 comment:

  1. I live in Anchorage -- KBC is the best! :)

    PS. This is Stefanie. I briefly met you at Stanford (summer 2004)! :)