NY Starbucks are a sitcom onto themselves

Starbucks

There’s always something going on at Starbucks in New York. I guess it’s the same in Miami, at my Miami location, which is home, everyone knows everyone else, and sometimes there is one big conversation going on in the whole store, you know, sort of like an Andy Griffith episode. In New York it’s different, there are the regulars, but so many tourists pass through and there are so many stories.

It’s almost as if any Starbucks in New York could be a sitcom, or a comic strip!

The other night I went to Starbucks which is across the street from where I’m staying and I ended up drinking two wrong coffees! Why? Because there were three Toms there at the same time! There were only a handful of people there, so there weren’t many people to get confused with, but apparently there were three of us!

I ordered on the app as I usually do, I walked in and heard my name called so I took the coffee, but after I tasted it, it didn’t taste right, so they gave me another coffee named Tom; still wrong. Two Tom coffees, both wrong. I told the girl behind the counter what I had ordered – a cafe mocha with extra whipped cream, and she said, oh, this is for another Tom.

I said, “Another Tom? There are three Tom’s here ordering at this very moment?” She said, “Yes, we have a lot of Tom’s here tonight!”

This morning I went across the street for breakfast. I usually go to Pret A Manger every morning and get the same thing – coffee or green tea and oatmeal. But I ended up in Starbucks. And it was a madhouse, very crowded and crazy. I didn’t use the app because I don’t usually order green tea and oatmeal on the app so I thought it would be faster to order at the register rather than look for the items on the app. But it was quite confusing. There were three registers open with people yelling in orders from every direction.

I ordered and the lady handed me my tea. I guess I looked confused, but I was just wondering who was going to hand me the oatmeal. I must have really looked confused because a guy next to me waiting for his order said, “The milk and sugar is over there,” and he pointed behind us. I smiled and tapped him on the shoulder, you know, friendly-like, and I said, “I know, I’ve been here before,” meaning Starbucks, any Starbucks. He got a bit embarrassed and laughed but I explained to him I was just waiting for the oatmeal. It was a nice funny experience early in the morning.

I was handed my oatmeal, said goodbye to they guy who was still waiting, and left.

Eating healthy

tomversation1

I thought I was a healthy eater but guess not. I ran into a friend at Publix the other day. I found it interesting that I always see her at the same area in Publix. I run into her often and she’s always at the produce section. She told me because that’s the only area she shops in, the produce area, she doesn’t buy any prepared food, which I do. She took one look at my shopping cart and threw a fit. I had things that I thought were healthy, like a frozen dinner that was chicken and broccoli, but she told me it had too much sodium, it did – 1050 milligrams (mg) ! I don’t buy canned soup because it has 750 mg of sodium, and this “healthy meal” had over 1000 mg!

I ended up putting so much of the food I had in the cart back and after a tour around the produce section with my friend, I ended up with Kiwi, watermelon, watercress, spinach, tuna, lemons, strawberries, peppers, apples (which I hate) you know, everything green and red, nothing with sugar or salt and I felt so much better for it. I do honestly try to eat vegetarian if I can but I guess I was lax in reading all of the labels. People in the store were laughing as they watched us go around. I felt so foolish because I really do think I’m eating healthy and I guess I eat healthier than most people, but I had a lot to learn.

I almost ended up with another friend for breakfast that morning at a place we call the Dirty Deli, which serves all greasy diner food. Glad I didn’t go that day.

tomversation2
But I did end up at a festival in town later in the day and I cheated. I had a cheeseburger and then as I was walking down the street I saw these great doughnuts by The Salty Donut which is this great place in Miami. They had a promotion going on – $1.00 per doughnut, which is quite cheap for them. So I had one, as you can see here.

I’ll get back on the wagon tomorrow, I have all that green and red produce I bought, so I’ll eat it, which I do love. Doughnuts and burgers in moderation.

tomversation3

Me eating a tiramisu doughnut. It was only $1.00! 

Enjoying the Beaux Arts Festival

The Beaux Arts Festival is in town this weekend. Starting in January a whole bunch of art festivals take over the South Florida area. It’s a lot of the same artists that make the circuit and go from show to show, so there is not much new art to see, but it’s fun to be out and for my friends and me it’s a lot about the food.

The Beaux Arts Festival is a yearly event benefit for the Lowe Art Museum on the University of Miami campus. This is

the 67th year.

Annabel Langbein; natural New Zealand cooking

annabel“No matter how humble the food, people are always so happy to be cooked for.”

Those are the words of Annabel Langbein, a cook and food writer from New Zealand.

On Saturday mornings, I watch her tv show on one of our PBS channels. She cooks from her kitchen from her cabin in the woods, on a lake, in New Zealand on “Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook,” which only has a few episodes – three seasons, 13 episodes per season. Anabel cooks off the land, she grows most of her own crops and she heads out to local farms for other sources of food.

I don’t cook, I barely like to boil water, but I enjoy cooking shows, I find them very relaxing. Put that together with Annabel’s New Zealand accent, probably my most favorite accent in the world, and it’s enjoyable, especially when she goes out to forage for food in the New Zealand country side and mountains. The scenery is so beautiful.

At the end of each episode, she brings a bunch of friends together and they eat out on teh deck of the cabin, they eat what she prepared throughout that episode. The people are mostly those who were in the episode earlier – maybe a wine maker or a farmer or a helicopter pilot who took her up over the mountains or maybe an apple orchard owner where she picked apples for that meal’s dessert earlier in the day.

She drives an old yellow truck and prepares meals out in the wild where she is spending time, like at the apple orchard or up in the mountains.

Anabel has an interesting history, she started out as a hippy in the 1970s, having left home at age 16 and lived in the wilderness, cooking over open fires, which eventually brought her to her cooking life.

Anthony Bourdain; a friend in my head

anthony-bourdain-no-reservationsAnthony Bourdain is friend in my head. You know how you see people on tv or movies and you just feel as if you know them? Every once in awhile someone famous dies and I feel as if they were/are a family member. I mean I guess I feel that same way when they were alive, but it hits hard when they pass on. Random people have had that effect on me over the years. It was shocking to hear his name announced on the tv this morning. I had my back to the Today Show, I was making breakfast when they announced a famous chef had passed. I held my breath as they said the name, hoping that I didn’t know the person they would announce, so it knocked the breath out of me when they said his name.

I loved Anthony’s attitude and story-telling technique. I was drawn in like so many millions when he took us on adventures of far away places and even places close to home. I’ve lived in Miami most of my life, but on his Miami episode I learned so much.

First No Reservations and then Parts Unknown. I would watch marathons of these shows, always drawn in from the beginning of each episode. The food and the locations were featured, but Anthony was the star.

Awkward lunch

There’s this new restaurant in the neighborhood, it’s a casual place. You walk up to the counter and order and they bring it to your table. It’s a sort of Asian bowl place, but you can get many things there, they have a large menu.

Well, it’s always empty. I’m usually the only one there when I stop in for lunch. There are maybe four or five employees behind the counter and some preparing the food in the kitchen and my $12 lunch probably doesn’t cover one of their salaries for the day.

babu

They have a few locations in Miami and I don’t know if they are a large chain around the county or just have the few locations here. The food is great at a great price, but no one is going. I’ve told so many people about it, too.

It used to be a Quizno’s and that place was always full, so it’s not about the location.

It reminds me of that Babu, cafe episode of Seinfeld.

As you enter, before you are even in the door, they are greeting you from the front counter, I guess they are so happy to see a person arrive. Then when your food is being prepared, you don’t know where to look, they all just stand and stare at you and when you look at them, they smile. Very weird.

I do hope they make it. I like the food very much and it’s a great place for lunch.