This morning I went to my normal Sunday deli, my regular deli being closed on the Seventh Day. Back home, I settled into my leather recliner, newspaper in one hand, homemade Deaf Hope coffee mug filled to the brim in the other. The coffee had more half & half than I would like, but whatever. Then I tasted it. Blech. The cream was sour. So I dumped the coffee and waited an hour and a half for the corner cafe to open up.
Cafe el Maya is a new little mom and pop operation and serve up delicious tacos and burritos. They’ve been advertising breakfast and I loved the idea of supporting them. I was the only customer so sat down at a big table and requested a cup of coffee with a little half and half. What I got was a bowl of half and half with a splash of coffee. I *wish* I were exaggerating. I was a little embarrassed to ask for it to be fixed — I try not to be a high maintenance customer, especially in a little shop like this, but I am a regular and, well, I was jonesing for java. It took three tries but finally I got a steaming cup of delicious coffee while I waited for my ham, cheese and onion omelette. What came out was a plate of thin, fried egg thing with no ham, no cheese, no onions and two slices of dry white toast. No butter or jam. After the frustrating coffee exchange, I just didn’t have it in me to send it back and *hope* they’d get it right. I was so hungry and in need of coffee that I felt exceptionally angry and helpless that I couldn’t just get a simple, no frills order.
I finished my coffee, left the plate of food untouched except for the one bite I took to see if maybe there was ham, cheese & onion hidden in the eggs that I just couldn’t see, paid the $5 bill and walked to Panera. At least there, I knew I could get coffee.
I just missed Panera’s breakfast so wasn’t able to get an egg souffle but no matter, there were tons of other tasty choices. There was plenty of coffee, served however I liked, reasonably priced and served quickly. Panera was packed full of happy looking people, laughing, chatting or using the free WiFi. As much as I hate the homogenization of America and my little area of Astoria, Queens, I was thanking God for this chain restaurant for getting everything right. And it seemed like every other person in Astoria had already figured it out. I suppose that’s why chains exist and take over the quaint towns of the nation, but it makes me sad. I will never give Cafe el Maya another chance except for the 2:00 AM $2 chicken taco. They do get those right. Or do they? It could be that I’m just too drunk to care.
I’m a sell out. A sated, full, caffeinated sell out.
Going to Subway for lunch and Applebees for dinner and Regal Cinemas for my entertainment.