Tag Archives: latte

Starbucks store closures…

I’m sure you’ve all seen “the list” by now, but this week Starbucks finally announced exactly which stores would be getting the ax in the coming weeks. Surprisingly, there were very few in the Los Angeles area, but some major U.S. cities will be jonesing for a Caramel Macchiato fix very soon.

Cities with the highest store closures are: San Diego with ten stores, Baton Rouge and Dallas tied with nine, Houston with eight and the fair city of Indianapolis is losing a whopping seven Starbucks! But the real shocker here is that the Las Vegas metropolitan area will be losing a staggering sixteen stores! Yep, you heard me…sixteen Starbucks are closing in Sin City alone. Crazy, huh?

The fact that Las Vegas even has sixteen stores to close reveals the heart of Starbucks’ problem. They grew way too fast for their own good and are now reaping what they roasted. And don’t even get me started about their ill-advised forays into music and pseudo-Indie art films. “Akeelah and the Bee” coffee cozies anyone? Yikes…

So, even though I have grown to re-love Starbucks in the last few years — I really hated them when I worked at Peet’s, but since I got fired for being late a few years back, I kinda hate Peet’s now instead! Ha! — I still think they could seriously simmer down on all the extraneous crap they sell in their stores and focus on their coffee.

Sure, I’ve had better lattes at smaller non-chain coffee houses, but when you’re on the road or at an airport and you really want something consistent, Starbucks is still king, baby! So, though I feel for the 12,000-plus people being laid off in the coming months, here’s hoping the belt-tightening makes Starbucks a leaner, meaner latte machine…

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The French Pastry Shop, Santa Fe

OK, I know it sounds like all we did in Santa Fe was eat and that’s probably because, well, aside from drinking — gotta love that high altitude buzz! — that is all we did. Literally.

The French Pastry Shop, Santa Fe (Feb. 2008)

At one point Christine and I were plotting out our day and realized that everything we wanted to do involved food. Of course, we eventually found plenty of other some awesome things to do and see, but, wow, with all that good food they got cooking, why not eat your way through Santa Fe?

And a great place to start your culinary day off right is at the rocking French Pastry Shop located inside the historic La Fonda Hotel downtown. Now, I should mention that my first visit here — yes, I went just about everywhere more than once…but, hey, I was in town for six weeks, what do you expect? — with Ginger was not that great.

Inside The French Pastry Shop, Santa Fe (Feb. 2008)

I ordered a dry-ass crepe with ham and gruyere cheese that was way overpriced and, like I said, dry as, well…ass. Not my favorite breakfast. But when Christine and I went again a week later, things were much more to my liking.

To start with, they have no menus, so you have to stare at this chalk board hanging up by the register and pick out what you like then sit down and order. I didn’t do this the first time and simply ordered what the skinny waitress suggested…not a wise move at this place, as what I got was, no offense, skinny waitress food.

Another view of The French Pastry Shop, Santa Fe (Feb. 2008)

So this time, I studied that menu board HARD and, man alive, what a difference! Christine and I shared the tasty looking quiche-type deal with ham, cheese and spinach and wow…just wow. I think the picture below says it all.

For “desert” we ordered a fresh blueberry and raspberry crepe with whipped cream and here again, we ordered correctly. I kind of wanted to marry that thing…you know, if I wasn’t already married.

But the topper was a cold coffee drink made with two shots of espresso poured over homemade vanilla ice cream and lots of ice. I am not kidding…that just might have been the best cold coffee drink I ever consumed…and this from a former Peet’s barista!

Tasty breakfast quiche @ The French Pastry Shop, Santa Fe (Feb. 2008)

All I can say is thanks again to “Santa Fe Sarah” for insisting that Christine try The French Pastry Shop when she came out, because had she not, I would not have gone back. Muchas gracias, Sarah…you were right, I was wrong.

Oh yeah, and one last thing, The French Pastry is a strictly cash-only enterprise, so bring some green, and don’t forget to study that chalk menu board up front, HARD. You won’t regret it…

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