Just like my earlier post about books and not reading much in the form of novels when I used to read a lot. I also haven’t been taking my laptop to a cafe and going online while drinking the cafe’s coffees and frappes or eating a sandwich. It’s been ages and I miss it.
As I am planning a mini-vacation or staycation for a few days starting Wednesday, I plan to go to a couple of cafes which used to be my faourite places to go to. I am checking up on various cafes that do offer free Wifi (I can think of only two at the moment) and I plan to go there sometime this week; early by atleast 11 or 11:30 am and order a large coffee and a sandwich and ask them for their wifi password. And I plan to sit down and take out my mouse (the USB kind, take your mind out of the gutter) and click on to the browsers.
So once again, if only for a little while, I will rejoin the Republic of Laptopistan and drink coffee in a cafe while browsing the internet.
It has been so long, longer than I can even remember since I just went into a cafe with a laptop and sat there for a couple of hours browsing through the internet and drinking coffee. I think the last time I did that was more than 4 or 5 years ago?
I used to take my laptop – not my 2 year old Dell but my previous laptop which was a Lenovo – with me to many places. Mostly to one of the cafes I used to frequent. The two Cafe Coffee Days in the city, or Coffee Cube which has free Wifi or the Barista that shut down a few years ago – they also had free Wifi. I used to order a cup or two of coffee, a sandwich or a muffin, maybe a small bottle of water and for two hours or so, be online. It’s the same as doing it from home but you get better coffees.
I kinda miss that time. I loved doing that. I’ve even taken my laptop to a couple of restaurants and to a bar a few times. Didn’t use it much there but atleast a half hour or so. Which was fun. But coffee in a coffeeshop and free Wifi go hand in hand. There is one place that has decent food and has free Wifi – the others have closed – and I think I will pick a Saturday and go there with my Dell.
Costa Coffee’s Bang Bang Chicken Sausge Roll & Mocha Coffee from the highly priced Costa Coffee. Not worth the prices to be honest. Coffee is good, roll was not bad but bland.
Before I start, I should say that this is solely based on what I have experienced in my hometown of Cochin. Cafe Coffee Day is an Indian coffeehouse chain. They have outlets in all major cities and towns. They are the Starbucks or Tim Hortons of India. A few years ago CCD was the only coffee shop option we had in most cities and I frequented them on a weekly basis. Every Sunday or Saturday out since 2006 started at CCD with a nice thick frappe and maybe a muffin or a sandwich to go along with it.
Until a couple of years ago we had maybe one or two other options for a quick bite to eat like a sandwich or muffins, maybe a pasty or cake and some delicious cold or hot coffee. Now – there are lots of various options with the slew of independent outlets that have come up. Some have 2 or 3 outlets in the city/state as well and foodies are flocking to them. CCD has 6 outlets in Kochi, 2 of which I have been to. They have 1 in Lulu Mall and 1 near Center Mall and one on MG Road a couple of kilometers from Center Mall (the one that I have been going to the last 3 times). Once a retreat for me, a place where I could go with a book and relax for a couple of hours, have a sub and big frappe it is now the least favourite option.
The last couple of times I have been inside a CCD I found that their sub sandwich have not only increased in price but decreased in taste and quantity of what’s inside. Miserly little things and they have the audacity to serve way beyond mediocre sliders and call then international burger fest! American classic burger – two sliders with chicken cutlets (the Indian kind) and hardly anything else. The two cafes I have been to look old and badly in need of sprucing up. I haven’t been to any of the other outlets though I had seen the CCD in Lulu Mall and it being the newer on, looks more inviting. I will stick to my choices of other outlets most of the time but once in a while I guess I will visit a CCD for old time’s sake.
Iced Mocha & Tandoori Chicken Pannini from Costa Coffee
Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?
Well to tell the truth I am a little snobbish about my coffee. Not the one I drink at home. No, at home I drink plain old simple instant coffee with sugar. Sometimes I add milk. I like it hot and black. But when I go out to cafes I can never think about drinking plain coffee.
No I want somewhat pricier (around Rs.100-150 worth) of lattes, machiatos, cold frappes, whipped cream and/or ice cream laden cold ones. I prefer though. Mocha this, latte that – give them to me. I want them complex and I want them rich. Otherwise why bother having a coffee outside your home.
So I turn my nose up towards your regular stuff. Give me a good one to savour.
Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com
Cafe Coffee Day’s Cold Sparkle Frappe – a frappe with crunchy bits of chocolate and crushed ice.
Ladies & gentleman, you a reading the post of a doomed and defeated man. Let me give you my review of the Bad Boy Burger at Cafe 17 on Kaloor-Kadavanthara road. This is my very first visit to this cozy and cool looking place that needs to expand and have quite a few more tables. So having seen and read a few posts from a lot of guys in two foodie groups on Facebook, little ole innocent me went to Cafe 17, braving a traffic jam, after work finished. I went by Uber and should have been taken out of the Cafe by a hearse by the end of my meal.
I went in and chose the table right in the front of the tv, as I wanted to see Spain vs Czech Rep playing in the Euros. I went through the menu quickly and chose a mocha frappe and ordered the Bad Boy burger from their burger fest menu, which the manager recommended (just the menu as it a special that they have at the moment). Now, half looking at the tv I placed my order as I liked the name The Bad Boy (being one myself ) and did not notice what it was. My frappe came, filled & overflowing with whipped cream and I sipped it and a few minutes later my burger came. Now, I am not a small guy. I am not tall but I am a big and fat guy. Yet even I was not prepared for what appeared before me.
Imagine this – you are a local wrestler in your town and the WWE is coming to hold a show in your area. You are called as an invite to go and perform a match against a WWE wrestler. “Don’t worry, we will get you a small, decent sized new wrestler. You will do well against him!” And you stupidly say “Ok, sure”. Cause you love wrestling and the WWE. So you get into the ring and you wave to the crowd, they cheer and you smile and pose and the ring announcer says “And his opponent…” and you hear….
“WELL, IT”S THE BIG SHOW!!! IT’S A BIG BAD SHOW TONIGHT” Yes, you see the BIG SHOW (all 7.1 feet and 220 kg of him) coming into the ring to beat the living hell outta you!!! That is what it felt when I came to face to face with The Bad Boy burger!!!
With a side of batter fried rings and a bit of coleslaw, this monster of a burger towered over me. Two big juicy beef patties, chicken salami, 2 large cheese slices, onions, large pieces of lettuce and tomato. Heart-attack on a bun! Juices dripping on the side, it’s a mess of a burger. I needed 20 tissues to wipe up the juice
I fought valiantly and I stood my ground even though I was out muscled by this Amazon of a burger. The Big Show / The Bad Boy burger pulverized me and lifted me high into the air and tossed me down onto the mat. He went for the count and the referee went on the side and did the count! 1…2….3! And the winner is THE BAD BOY BURGER!
I gave it my all, but I fought the Beef and the Beef won!!
More seriously, I rate it a 9 outta 10, point deducted for the sloppy burger that made the bun moist and it slipped and slides all over my rectangular plate. It made it difficult to eat. Might not ever have it again, unless I haven’t eaten for a day atleast.
And now, I will skip dinner, tomorrows breakfast and lunch as I will be in recovery!!
I have this obsession with coffee cups. I like coffee…..no wait, that is not right….I have a sexual relationship with coffee on a regular basis. It should come as no surprise then that I also have a thing for coffee cups. Coffee cups are something that I like collecting and at the moment I have a few, not too many, just a few that I like and I hope to add more to the last as the months go by.
Yesterday while at the mall, I picked up this one. I really liked the look of it “Genius at work” is so perfect for me that I just had to buy it. So I picked it up for the terribly high price that it had and bought it at the shop.
I picked up it and paid for it but it was only after I came back home that I realized that those cool looking almost 70s hippie colourful images on the mug was actually the continents of our world!!! Isn’t that great? I picked up something (the lighting in the store wasn’t all that great so no wonder I missed seeing what it was) thinking it was nice and it turned out to be even more cooler than I first imagined!
Life can be awesome like that somedays. Silly me, it’s only a coffee mug. But yeah, I like it. Cheers!
Classic Beef Burger with bacon @ Cocoa Tree
What do you do when you start getting a nasty head cold and have really bad sneezes and the sniffles as your working day ends? You go to the nearest cafe in the evening and get yourself a treat.
So here is the delicious & hot Scottish Latte – a latte with a dollop of butterscotch flavour. It was really good.
And get a ham & egg sandwich. Delicious and filling double decker ham & egg sandwich from Coffee Beanz!
What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?
Cold coffee or iced coffees or frappes – take your pick. I am a coffee fanatic and I drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day but they are usually the plain hot variety and 1 or 2 of them will be plain black coffee. I need two cups of coffee in the morning before I can consider myself living and then I will have usually 2 but some days just one in the evening. As the majority and vast majority at that are all plain hot coffee (either black or with just milk) I long for frappes and in a tropical climate such as where I live, the cold ones are a boon.
I get my coffee fix with it’s cooler and refreshing and can have dollops of chocolate syrup or whipped cream or both. Man, I just love those. Even if it is a hot coffee I will opt for a moccachino or an Irish coffee or something like that. Life needs that extra flavour here and there. Live a little. As I only have frappes once a week I demand that I need that indulgence. Otherwise what the fuck are we living for. So that is my guilty pleasure.
Yes a plain hot coffee with or without milk (we don’t usually use cream here) is good and gets the job done. But that is the norm. I need an occasional cold one.
Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com
Today a Saturday was one of the coolest yet sunniest days in a long while. It was bright and sunny yet there was a cool wind blowing throughout and hence it was prefect for a day out. I took a book and went out to spend some time reading in cafes while sipping on coffees.
Nice day for some cold coffee. I also had a really good tandoori chicken sandwich from Cafe Coffee Day, the first stop for today. A couple of hours spent in the cool confines of my favourite coffeeshop franchise while reading a book is great for relaxing on the weekend.
Marine Drive was my next destination. Another hour or so spent reading while sitting on a bench overlooking the Arabian sea is awesome. I had to go back in for more cold coffee but this is a quick pic I snapped while inside the Bay Pride Mall.
Alas days like these are few and far between. My second cup of coffee was this new and improved and simply titled cold coffee from the Bay Pride Mall’s food court. The same coffee just better tasting and with a generous shot or two of chocolate syrup – man it was really good. Well good for a place that doesn’t specialize in coffee.
Before leaving the mall I stepped into a store that sells computer/laptops, mobiles and accessories and bought a new Dell USB wireless mouse to go with my new Dell laptop. Pretty cute with a nice glossy matte finish that is so smooth to the touch.
My very first visit to a Starbuck’s – I had the Iced Caramel Macchiato & Basil, Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich. I’m skipping quite a few videos to post this one here because my visit to Chennai was a short one and I just blogged about this visit to the famed coffeeshop franchise. So here is my review of the Starbucks food & coffee.
So…I have never ever been to a Starbucks in my life until this Friday. And that’s because they don’t have an outlet in Cochin or anywhere near here for me to visit. There isn’t one in Kerala at all but there are a couple in Chennai. So on Friday after I left the office post raising a request for my return flight back to Cochin, I called for a taxi and headed towards Phoenix Market City / Phoenix Mall in Vellacherri (which is part of the main city of Chennai). It took me almost 40 minutes to get there.
I entered the mall after the elaborate security checks and immediately fell in love with the large mall. We need more malls! I walked into the ground floor and immediately saw a large banner for Dunkin’ Donuts. But I think that was just an announcement of the franchise opening (I didn’t bother to read it completely) and did not see an outlet in the mall. But I turned left at one end and saw……Starbucks! Yes, it’s like the mothership calling me home!
So I didn’t know that they had a Starbucks here but I was happy anyways. Starbucks is one of the franchises that I really wanted to try (it was in my top 5) and I walked in, checked out their menu and settled on an iced grande caramel macchiato and a basil, tomato & mozzarella cheese sandwich on foccachia bread sandwich! Whew, that is a mouthful. And what a good mouthful it is!
So here is the large elaborately lengthy named a basil, tomato & mozzarella cheese sandwich on foccachia bread sandwich. That bread is so delicious even on it’s own and I love the seasame seeds on it. It’s also got fennel on it, I think. The mozzarella was delicious but the tomatoes were a downer. The basil was more like a pesto but I like the combination so much anyway. It was really good and light. Not having had anything other than a coffee or two for breakfast, I was so happy for that sandwich.
And ofcourse, the reason why I went in, a famed coffee from Starbucks. I had a hard time settling on one coffee to try and decided to go with the iced grande caramel macchiato. It was good but I expected much more. It didn’t blow my mind or anything and that could be because I built it up in my head for so many years before actually trying it out. But still good. I will have a review video out sometime soon. Enjoy the pics!
Another coffee review. This time it’s Blushberry frappes from Cafe Coffee Day – a strawberry flavoured coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.