Friday, May 15, 2009

Coffee Please!

I’m already wishing I hadn’t told you about being on a diet. Now, when I write about some of the food I’m eating you’re going to be thinking: Isn’t she on a diet? Should she really be eating that? Don’t tell me you won’t. We all do it. We love to judge people. All I’m asking is that you please keep these thoughts to yourself. I don’t need your comments about how fattening this or that is. I know. My philosophy is to enjoy good food, and I don’t intend to get carried away, but sometimes I will eat some major crap, nutritionally speaking.

With that said, I need to tell you about the chocolate almond croissant I ate this morning at Stumptown Coffee on SE 33rd & Belmont. At first, I thought – not that good. It wasn’t the delicate, buttery layers of pastry I expected. Then I had another bite and mmmm – a flaky exterior with barely bittersweet chocolate and a rich almond paste that tasted almost like caramel. It was really quite delicious. As a croissant, it might not stand up to the best ones out there (I like Grand Central Bakery’s and Marsee Baking’s croissants), but there was a yummy factor with this one that made it thoroughly enjoyable!

Anyway, the reason I went to Stumptown to begin with was coffee. I’m utterly sick of office coffee and bored with Starbuck’s (damn them for being so convenient!). Stumptown is not on my beaten path, but I had an appointment in the area this morning, so I finally had the chance to give them a try. I had a hard time deciding between the French press or a soy latte. Their French press coffee is supposed to be excellent, but in the end I went for the latte. One sip and I knew it was a mistake. Maybe it just needed an extra hit of espresso, but the soy milk drowned out the espresso flavor. (At least it wasn’t that icky, sweet soy milk Starbuck’s uses. I’ll never forgive them for switching to that sweetened Silk brand.) I suppose it’s pretty typical to lose the espresso flavor with the addition of several ounces of milk or soy milk, but a good soy latte can be found at – of all places – Café Sip n’ Play on SE 164th in Vancouver, or Coffee People at the Portland airport.

My problem, I suppose, is that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy that wonderfully rich, black, earthy stuff in a Paris café that only vaguely resembles American coffee. Every cup since has been a disappointment. If you can tell me where to find or how to make that perfect café au lait, I’m awaiting your comments. In the mean time, I’ll try to make it back to Stumptown soon to try the French press coffee and enjoy another chocolate almond croissant.


  1. I HIGHLY recommend the french press @ Stumptown. It's delicious! Also, if you get a chance next time you're over there, there's a french bakery right up the street that might have the perfect croissant you're looking for. Enjoy!

  2. O.k. your journal is making me miss my sense of taste even more. You describe things in such detail it makes stuff that I normally wouldn't try make me want to give it a whirl. Heck you look great so I can't imagine anyone hassling you about dieting. I find myself hoping there is an entry.

  3. Jen from Portland, OregonMay 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Thanks, Candice. You're so sweet. I always forget you can't taste. Thanks for following the blog anyway. Maybe you can enjoy through imagination.

  4. Can't taste? Can't taste? Who can't taste? That's not fair. My god, what would I do if I couldn't taste? I might be skinny. I had lunch at a Korean restaurant yesterday and tangled for the first time with bipimbap (think I spelling it correctly) and my taste buds were howling with delight. Crunchy, mixed up rice with tons of flavors from all kinds of vegetables mingled together in soy sauce and black beans and hot pepper sauce with an egg cooking on top of it all... and I just don't know what all else... Jen, is it possible to make this wonderful vegetarian dish at home? You must know!

  5. Jen from Portland, OregonMay 19, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    Be Bim Bop is a wonderful dish. I haven't had it in years, but I used to go to a Korean place in Denver for lunch sometimes. I've never made it, but maybe I'll have to look for some recipes. It seems to be all the rage right now, so it shouldn't be too hard to find some.