Tag Archives: coffee

(Ir)replaceable?

I have a bunch of old coffee mugs from TV shows, art museums, even an apartment complex I used to live. In once sense these aren’t replaceable. If I ever break my Mozilla Coffee mug or the “I’m in the middle of fifteen things, all of them annoying” quote from Cmdr. Ivanova, or if I lose the “Venti Schmenti” travel mug from Diedrich’s (a coffee chain that has since been absorbed by Starbucks), that’s it — I can’t get another one.

But I have plenty of other coffee mugs, and there’s no shortage of mugs I could buy to replace them if I had to.

As memorabilia, they’re irreplaceable. Functionally, they’re almost expendable.

It’s interesting to think that they’re both, depending on how you’re looking at them.

Restaurant Crossover

How about a cup of joe?

Though their signature drink is a mean Flat White, Two Guns Espresso in Manhattan Beach has the perfect mocha: just the right balance of coffee and chocolate and not too sweet. If they were open in the evenings, I’d stop on the way home from work waaay too often.

For the past few weekends, Two Guns has also been hosting pop-up dinners by Doma Kitchen, a local restaurant that’s in the process of relocating. It keeps them in the public eye, gives regulars a chance to visit, and I’m sure it helps to bring in some money while the restaurant is closed. The fixed menu is a bit more expensive than what we usually buy there, but it’s a three-course meal including appetizer and dessert (and coffee), so it actually worked out about the same.

Considering that we all like both the coffee shop and the restaurant, it seemed like a perfect match, and we went last night. They added extra seating using folding tables in the area usually reserved for the line and milling around. I was worried when we were the only ones there at 6:30, but it filled up quickly.

The food was great, though I forgot to mention when I made the reservation that I couldn’t eat seafood. (I don’t remember seeing seafood on their menu before, but I guess I just ignored it.) Fortunately it was a three-course meal, and my seafood allergy is less severe than others I have, so we rebalanced things a bit and it worked out.

The funny thing is, from what we overheard of the greeting conversations (we were seated right by the door), most of the people there last night had never been to Two Guns before. We may have been the only overlap!

Going to the ER at Comic-Con: Not the Peanuts I was Expecting

Wristband vs. Heart MonitorI’ve been attending San Diego Comic-Con for more than 20 years, but this was the first time I left the con in an ambulance.

I’m OK now. Though I might not be when I see the bill.

It started at lunchtime. We went to New Break, an independent coffee shop near Ralphs, which we’d been to before. They were offering samples of a blended peanut butter banana coffee drink, and while I really wanted to try their blended mint mocha, it was safer to skip something made on the same equipment.

What I decided on was a Mexican Mocha. Generally, these add cinnamon, maybe nutmeg or chili powder. I’ve had drinks with that and similar names, and Mexican hot chocolate, plenty of times. I didn’t ask what was in it, but I had just told them I was allergic to peanuts when I decided to skip the blended drink.

I considered getting it iced, but there was some confusion as to what was included in the lunch deal, so I got it hot instead. That turned out to be a wise decision, since I probably would have started out chugging a few ounces of a cold drink.

Two sips in, the back of my throat and my lips started tingling — a bad sign. I stopped, flagged over one of the baristas, and asked whether there were any nuts in the drink. She didn’t think so, but said she’d check.

I pulled out my emergency kit, took my Benadryl and Pepcid, and set my Epi-Pen on the table in case it progressed. I probably should have just taken it right then, but who wants to spend the afternoon in the emergency room instead of Comic-Con?

Meanwhile, the coffee shop staff had been unable to find ingredients for the mix, and had to call the owner to confirm that yes, there were peanuts in it.

Great.

Over the next hour, it felt like the reaction was under control, so I figured we could return to the convention center. Unfortunately, anaphylaxis can take several hours to run its course, and medication can wear off before it does. Continue reading