Can I have a cappuccino with a Panda face?

by Libby Segal
Print Email

panda1It is not every day that I meet a furry friend on my travels through coffee shops. Normally, I find a heart shape design or a leaf, or a flower in the foam of my cappuccino-- a symbol of my barista's or baristo's skill, passion for his or her art, and hope to make my day that much better. But last week, after returning to Via Quadronno for one of their delicious cappuccini, my friend and I were handed what seemed to be the most delicate design I had even seen.

There he was--just staring at us with beautiful details. The cappuccino was actually for my friend Ashley, and I could see the sadness in her eyes as she knew the design would soon be gone when she went to drink the coffee. The panda's eyes almost formed a tranquil look as well--as if he knew his time was short.

For the rest of the day I continued to talk about my run-in with a panda bear at the cappuccino shop. My co-workers were nearly as amazed as we were. So I made it my mission to visit another well-known cappuccino place in Lower Manhattan, La Colombe.

When I arrived, I ordered my cappuccino, hoping that without question I'd receive at least some design. Instead--I received this--rather quickly and sloppily (even though I was the only one in line).

plaincupI almost approached the barista to ask what THAT mess was. Is that a half-assed heart, I thought to myself. Was there a failed attempt? But I kept my mouth shut...sipped on what was actually a tasty cappuccino, and thought of kinder ways to approach the situation.

I returned to the counter, with the panda photo ready on m iPhone.

"Excuse me"

"Yes?"

"Do you or any of the baristas here ever create art like this?" I nearly shoved my phone in her face.

"Ha," she laughed... "We don't have time for that--we are much too busy, we'd never get through a line. Plus we don't have the tools to do that."

Now--I may have been perfectly okay with this answer had she not continued, but it was when she continued that I had to refrain from pulling out my business card and telling her "I am no amateur in cappuccino tasting."

"Besides--after you do all that work, the cappuccino doesn't taste good."

I cringed.

'WHAT,' I exclaimed, in my head.

Ashley had declared her panda cappuccino delicious (Ashley was a fellow friend in Italy--so her opinion is as trust worthy as mine); and all my heart, leaf, and face cappuccini before that had been just the same--wonderful. And here, this barista was telling me that with more work, the cappuccino wouldn't taste as good.

But instead of saying this out loud, I nodded, walked out the door, and vowed never to return to La Colombe--no matter how good their cappuccino may have tasted--again.

(Edited: I returned to La Colombe and had a cappuccino. I couldn't resist how good it tasted---Sigh.)

Via Quadronno – 25 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021-3521 – (212) 650-9880

Via Quadronno on Urbanspoon

La Colombe – 270 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 – (212) 625-1717

Libby Segal is a New York City based associate producer, writer, and stand up comedian.

You have no rights to post comments

 

restaurant news

Plums Cafe & Catering: A Must Stop in Costa Mesa
Southern California
by Kitty Kaufman

plums cafe 1Here's what I like about California: People think nothing of driving 82 miles for lunch. (In New York, this never happens.) The Thin Man and I are now two of those people as we head out from La...

Read more...
Hemmer Brothers Burgers, Sioux Falls, SD
Mid-West
by Scott R. Kline

ImageHemmer Brothers Burgers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is easy to drive by as it is placed inside an office building on bustling S. Phillips Avenue. But make sure you find it. They make a nice...

Read more...
R+D Kitchen and M Cafe
Los Angeles
by David Latt

newcafes.jpgYabu, Il Fornaio and Musha are my favorite restaurants. They have great food and they're comfortable and affordable. I'd go to them every week if I could. Having said that, without realizing it,...

Read more...
Sandwich Heaven in London
London - British Isles
by Ilene Amy Berg

cheese02.jpgI don’t get it, I really don’t.  Some people still think that London has lousy food.  London has fabulous food.  The city has seen an intense food revolution in the last 15 years or so, and cooks...

Read more...