Friday, September 30, 2005

Coffee Shop Update #1

Ok, so everyone knows that man cannot live on bread alone, but requires that nectar of the gods, coffee. But, alas, today there are seemingly limitless arrays of coffee houses. How does one pick the cream from the sludge? Well, here begins a mission of mercy, a tale of woe, an exploration of the great coffee houses, and of the human condition. (Ok, maybe now it’s getting a little pretentious)

Day #1, or, "Embryo of disappointment"

Coffee Corner - Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre.

3 world-weary travellers, 1 single unified thought, coffee! The urge was strong, but where to satiate that need? Like a mirage in a desert, the looming spectre of Endeavour Hills shopping centre stood, its gleaming angular lines calling out to us. There was nothing to suggest the anguish we would soon be facing. We entered, and immediately set out to ascertain the location of the finest Coffee establishment. Our choices were thusly:

Pastry Jacks - Bakery, supposedly selling the "best vanilla slice in Australia 2001". Coffee equipment = rudimentary
Coffee Place - A recycled donut king stall, which now had been converted into a coffee shop. Coffee equipment = rudimentary
Coffee Corner - A cafe, with an advertised large array of hot foods (this was soon debatable), and a seating area. Coffee equipment = rudimentary

The possibility of sitting comfortably, as well as hot food, swayed me to the Coffee Corner. This was to be our greatest mistake. Requesting a long black, I asked the domestic working there, "Do you sell sausage rolls", as I was feeling rather peckish (10:30am). Imagine my surprise, and perhaps more aptly, my bemusement, when she stated "No, but we do have (PAUSE) quiche". Now, I am no culinary expert, but in no eatery have I ever been offered QUICHE as a replacement for a sausage roll. Is there any similarity? However, pausing not on the somewhat flawed nature of her "replacement theory", I retorted (as all men should), with the somewhat cliched "REAL MEN DON'T EAT QUICHE". The help staff laughed, albeit nervously, and I continued by saying "I think I’ll stick to coffee".

Once I returned to our table, I relayed the story, which brought about much laughter, and quizzical looks. However, these quizzical looks soon turned to looks of dismay, as watches were furtively glanced at, and heads were turned toward the main coffee-making area, as there was a distinct lack of activity. Now, Thursday seems to be pension day, therefore it should be one of their busiest days. However, the Coffee Corner had approximately 6 customers, and yet, the coffee was taking an exorbitant amount of time to be delivered. What foul incumbrance had we discovered? It was to get decidedly worse.

Now, some have said I am a coffee snob. I believe the best coffee is black, with no adulteration of milk or (shudder) sugar. If you are going to drink coffee, drink coffee; don't spoil it with useless addendums. That being said, it's pretty hard to get a long black wrong. I mean, it's just coffee and water. It's not that difficult, or so you'd think. Well the Coffee Corner gets it so wrong. The coffee was burnt, sludgy and tasted repulsive. Their coffee disgusted all 3 of our party.

However, without disappointment, one cannot truly appreciate greatness. Similarly, I finally realised that we could review said coffee shops, to assist not only us, but also anyone in the local area who requires a good drop. With that in mind, I can unequivocally give Coffee Corner 2 thumbs down. Out of 10? I would give it 2 cups. Why so generous? Well the serving girl did laugh at my quiche joke. I can't fault her on that. But as we left, we came to a single conclusion, a unified feeling of thought.

We vowed never to return.

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