Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
Santos, Lost and Found
You know how I'd come across The Most Ideal Café Patio Nobody’s Using, in South Park the other day? Beech and 30th? People said it had been Santos?
Well now I’m just a little bit east, a little bit lost, standing at 32nd and Thorn -- wondering how to get back to the Known World -- when I spot it.
That oval sign and then that stained-glass window logo.
Though truly, one blink and I’d have missed it. I mean, hole in the wall? This is it, wall and all.
Inside (and we're at 3191 Thorn Street, just a step up Thorn from the crossroads at 32nd, phone 619-640-3376), it’s a little bitty courtyard. Look in and you feel like you’re intruding.
But boy what a charmer. Cactus, bamboo, geraniums, ruddy trellis in the patio...
...a brick wall, a green wall, local art for sale...
...and a counter area backed by a rack of serious coffee bean dispensers, and below, Ainsley the barista who knows everything about them.
I almost get one of their hot-toasted everything bagels with pesto cream cheese ($2.70). Then the sweet tooth kicks in. See this wicked-looking kinda square galette loaded with shaved almonds, raisins, other nuts, orange peel by the taste of it, and honey “drizzled” (don’t you hate that overused menu word?) all over it. I get that ($2.45) and a coffee ($1.70).
Coffee’s great, roasted right here, think Ainsley said, and this is just a beautiful little refuge from the world and its woes.
Almost forget to ask Ainsley about the other, abandoned place on Beech. She doesn’t know. Must have been a while back, she says.
So the mystery -- and the opportunity -- remains, folks.
P.S.: The tables here: nicely worn, colorful iron. But above all, yes! Three-legged! I’d walk a mile for three-legged tables. Why? Because three-legged tables never wobble. Scientific impossibility.
Slops over your laptop? History.
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- Breakfast at Tiffany's Turns 50! — Oct. 5, 2011
- Pssst! Wanna Start a Café? — Sept. 19, 2011