Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
I’m getting the Ubehebes here. I’ve come out on deck from the counter inside, loaded with a coffee ($1.75), here at Krakatoa, the old house-turned-coffee house in Golden Hill (1128 25th Street, 619-230-0272, just up from where 25th and C Street meet).
And man, even at night, maybe especially at night, this is a patio. Deck, fig trees thrusting up through it, lights scattered among the branches, glowing gold and white, people at tables murmuring, laughing, slurping coffee, bamboo rustling...
There's a sidewalk a few yards out through this jungle somewhere, but totally a world away. The next moment, here comes Hannah, the funny counter gal with my “Fuego.”
It's a cream cheese everything bagel with jalapeño bits and cheddar ($3.25). It’s hot, crispy, nicely loaded, and, uh, hot. As I’m chew-slurp-chewing away, I get talking to Brian at the next table with his buddy Andrew and another guy. Brian’s a regular, he says. He looks at my bagel.
“What you’ve got’s okay,” he says. “But, totally, you’ve gotta have the Ubehebe.”
He doesn’t even wait. The guy’s gone in to buy one. See from the menu it’s a turkey, bacon, cream cheese, and cranberry sauce sandwich with potato salad. Costs $7.75.
“This is what you want,” he says, a couple of minutes later.
“Tell you what: I’ll split it,” I say, laying a Lincoln down on the table. I’m wondering what I’m doing, but first bite, it’s so worth it.
The turkey with the bacon’s a great combo, but what makes it sing is the sweetness of the cranberry. This is so-oo delicious. Turns out "Ubehebe" is a volcano crater in Death Valley. The word means "big basket in the rock" in local Timbishi language. All sandwiches here are named after volcanoes. Have to say, this one's a bona fide taste explosion.
Also delicious: the lights and trees and clunky wooden deck and shadowy faces. You could be in Bali. Which, come to think of it, is not far from the other Krakatoa.
Hey Naomi: Think this is my new favorite patio in town.