Friday, December 23, 2005

Dispersed Cheer

We went out for breakfast this morning. The part of town I live in is a new suburb. Woods and farmland have been taken over by strip malls and more. Stores and restuarants open up all the time and there is plenty to choose from when planning to eat out.

J was all excited that we were going out for breakfast - we had never done that before. Dinner is more common and sometimes lunch. I picked up a place at random. Liked the cute name mainly. It called it self a cafe and bistro. There were only a couple of patrons, which I figured was okay given the early hour. I looked up the menu as the waitress waited patiently.

"Can I have a two spinach and feta croissants and a small latte ?" I asked.

She gave me an embarrassed little smile and said "Let me check if we have the croissants" She went into the kitchen and came back to say "Sorry but we can do one spinach croissant".

When I get into an establishment, I feel committed to work with them for better or worse. If the service is poor or the food appalling I just don't return but I can't bring myself to walk out after walking in the door.

"Can you do one tomato and cheese maybe ?" I suggest. She checks in the kitchen again. I am in luck. They can actually do two of those.

The woman at the coffee machine tells me that they can't do a latte. I tell her I'll pass the coffee. We wait for a bit as they my order is processed. I am asked to choose between provolone and cheddar cheese for the spinach croissant. I am past caring at this point.

I love feta with spinach and would not even have ordered if that was not possible. We finish our breakfast as quickly as possible and leave. J is excited about the bright pink straw she is given with her water.

It's a fairly upscale neighborhood and to that end there are about fifteen little boutique restaurants within a mile besides the more popular chains. There is only a finite pool of customers who can patronize any or all of them.

With so many trying to replicate the old world charm of the neighborhood cafe where everyone hangs out on a holiday the crowd disperses. There is nothing cozy or intimate about the experience in any of these "cafes" - it is instead depressing. In a season of retail abundance it was strange to find myself caught in such scarcity.

Next time J wants to go out for breakfast I will probably pick a place where abundance and good cheer is guaranteed.


LaughingEyes said...

Unfortunately, good cheer and old world charm aren't 'ingredients' you can add to the ambiance..Next time you are in Cleveland, OH...try Coffee and Creations (assuming they haven't gone the way of so many other genuinely 'warm' places

Heartcrossings said...

Laughingeyes - Thanks for the recommendation :)