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Is that…could it be…?

Jason!

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.

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Jason West

Now here he is, under the canopy of another coffee cart, the Old Town Market Café (4010 Twiggs Street, Old Town, 619-807-0102).

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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.”

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Actually, it’s a meal.

And actually, this is quite a scene.

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Eric the caricaturist is at his easel, drawing a gal from Taiwan.

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Gloria, the lady from the seashell stall, comes by for a cup of tea ($1.50) and a fruit cup ($3.95).

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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.

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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.

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