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Will you still have coffee with a meal out?

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Just read Steven's latest coffee roasting post...

Getting even fair coffee while dining out is difficult, even at many fine restauarants.

And there's relatively no chance of having freshly ground, freshly roasted beans used to start that restaurant coffee cup with.

What will you be washing down your desserts with?



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At the risk of sounding like a sissy (or, worse, a Brit), I've always been mostly a tea drinker. Of course most restaurant tea is just as bad as most restaurant coffee, but the better restaurants tend to have pretty good loose leaf tea selections.

Bear in mind, though, that I haven't yet pitted my coffee against restaurant and coffee-bar coffee in a side-by-side tasting. I also haven't done anything at all with espresso -- that's a completely different ballgame.

Let us hope Bux comes along soon to explain why all civilized people should drink coffee only after dessert has been exorcised from the table.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 1 month later...
Let us hope Bux comes along soon to explain why all civilized people should drink coffee only after dessert has been exorcised from the table.

But they all do. Needless to say, some of my best friends are barbarians, but that's another story. And of course, coffee is espresso.

Since Klc talked me into buying that espresso maker, I'm far less dependant on restaurant coffee.

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I love good coffee and love that coffee pause after a meal. (I like tea too, but, FG, you really order tea in the USA post meal? A bag and a mug of lukewarm water most everywhere? Sissy! :biggrin: )

Sometimes one is so pleasantly surprised. As I mentioned on a previous thread, I ate a workmanlike, tasty but hardly inspired meal at The Urban Pear in Ottawa.

I ordered the coffee to linger a little longer with a friend. That cup of coffee was up in my lifetime Top Ten.

And a cup at Le Brasserie Lippe in 1975. Is it still as good?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel


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  • 3 weeks later...

I still break down on occasion and order a cup to have with dessert when dining out but I end up being disappointed on a regular basis. Surprisingly enough, I had an excellent cup last night after dinner at Joey's in Syracuse NY. I've been up here (away from my north Jersey home base) for the holidays and the GF treated me to New Year's dinner out. The meal was very disappointing but she had an amazingly good Bananas Foster and the coffee I had was certainly not up to the standard of what I roast and brew at home but it was the best restaurant coffee I've ever had.

I don't dine out in the haute cuisine, trendy or pricey places very often by choice and due to budgetary restraints but my coffee experiences have been uniformly disappointing. I've had the coffee at L'Ecole several times (The French Culinary Institute's restaurant at Broadway and Grand) and it was decent. The coffee I had at Danube after my birthday dinner last year was marginal. The individual press pots of coffee that we we served at Fleur de Sel this fall after my GF's birthday lunch were atrocious. The first ones arrived already plunged and looking like strong tea. They were sent back and replaced by a pair that were barely any better. Surprisingly enough, the best coffee I've had in NYC is at the Times Square Cafe. It's a cafe with light Italian menu, desserts and coffee and is in the atrium/lobby are of the AMC 25 movie theatre on 42nd St. They have a nice selection of varietals available and serve in individual thermal insulated press pots that hold about three cups of coffee. I suspect freshness of beans is a problem depending on the variety you select but the pot I had was very good. The pot is brought to the table unplunged - you wait and choose the plunge time yourself.

I no longer bother ordering espresso or cappucino in restaurants. It's difficult to find even a coffee bar where they do a really good job with these drinks but in the typical restaurant it's a waitperson or bartender who makes the drink - someone whose primary focus obviously needs to be on other things. They typically aren't given the training, resources or raw materials they need to make a high quality espresso drink.

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