Michael Mullenniex 1:43 p.m., May 25
Is that…could it be…?
I’d know that face anywhere. Even here in Old Town.
“I bought this,” he says. “The business. Lock, stock and…”
“…coffee cup?” I ask.
Wow. I’d gotten to know Jason where he worked at the Café Madrid coffee cart in Coronado, while the lovely Carla got her hair done by Diane, nearby.
Now here he is, under the canopy of another coffee cart, the Old Town Market Café (4010 Twiggs Street, Old Town, 619-807-0102).
It backs right up against what used to be the convent for nuns of the old Spanish-style Immaculate Conception church across Twiggs.
I like this cart. It has a mural painted across the front by a guy Jason says is known as “Mike, the Artist.”
“I took over January first,” he says. “Now the worries are all mine.”
I see he’s got the trident of the Navy Seals on display. “My dad,” he says. “Seal officer.”
Also happy to see he uses Calabria, the North Park coffee roasters. I don’t know a lot about coffee, but theirs always seems smoother than most. Not burnt, like Starbucks.
This is around six at night. Need something solid to keep me going. I see Jason has salads and sandwiches from – hey, this is good – French Gourmet in PB.
Actually, Jason’s eating one of his salads ($4.95 for the rest of us) right now.
It’s packed with chicken, arugula, baby tomatoes, cucumber, and a sauce splurged across the top. “Champagne vinaigrette,” says Jason. “Want one?”
Hmm. Actually, I’m feeling less nuts and twigs, more towards a sammy. Just ’cause French Gourmet always has those crunchy, to-die-for peasant breads.
So I get a chicken sandwich ($4.95) and a cawfee ($1.85), and come over join Jason at his one table, on an up-ended barrel beside the convent wall.
Oh man. One thing to say about this sandwich. Bread. Thick, crunchy, seedy crust, plus lotsa marinated chicken inside, lettuce, toms, slab of provolone cheese, looks like, and a thick swipe of pesto running through the middle.
Actually, it’s a meal.
And actually, this is quite a scene.
Eric the caricaturist is at his easel, drawing a gal from Taiwan.
Gloria, the lady from the seashell stall, comes by for a cup of tea ($1.50) and a fruit cup ($3.95).
And this lost Parisian gal turns up. Named Nausikaa (“Voyaging Ship”). Is a medical engineer. Takes a coffee. Discovers Jason studied, like, molecular biology at UCSD.
Nausikaa chats genomes with Jason
That’s it. They hit it off. Soon they’re yapping away about stuff like genomes and sub-atomic particles, molecule-to-molecule attraction.
Talk about attraction. I leave my cash on the counter and head off. They don’t even notice.