Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Off the Map: The Best Part of Waking Up Is Whiskey In Your Cup

Irish Coffee -- Buena Vista Cafe
Buena Vista Cafe

As a general rule, either due to our own stubbornness and/or our bodies' refusal to admit that they have ventured outside of New York City, we are incapable of adjusting to West Coast time.  
What Is This Strange World and Where Are the Pigeons?
For this reason, despite the fact that we hadn't gone to bed until 2:00am NY time (and had been full on a burger and French fries, to boot) we are WIDE AWAKE at the crack of 4:00am in San Francisco.
Insert the Twiddling of the Thumbs
And unfortunately for us, our itinerary doesn't have us scheduled to be anywhere until 9:00am.  Not just because we thought we'd be sleeping in, but because NOTHING IS OPEN.
Little Pig, Little Pig, Let Us In!
In the four hours we have to kill before our first meal ("meal") of the day at Buena Vista Cafe, Vodka completely rewrites our itinerary, and we end up on a double-decker bus tour by ourselves the second said bus starts running (sadly for Vodka, this is her third -- THIRD -- time on a bus tour all by her lonesome.  She is starting to take this pattern personally).  
Um, Nice Cone "Art"
By 8:55am, we have been driven up the San Francisco hills and are stationed outside of Buena Vista Cafe, waiting for them to open so we can start chugging Tyler Florence's favorite BEST I EVER DRANK Irish coffee, and stat.
Are You Open Yet? Okay, How About Now? And Now? Now?
When the Buena Vista staff opens the front doors, we scurry inside and over to the eating section of the counter (although we have a full food itinerary booked for the day, our next meal is not scheduled until noon, and clearly, we cannot last another three hours).  
Might You Also Have a Historical All-You-Can-Eat Buffet?
Our waitress, who is beyond pleasant, appears before us, and we each order an Irish coffee, along with a bread bowl of New England clam chowder to share (and the waitress, to her credit, does not so much as sneer at our bizarre and rather cheap ordering practices).
Believe Us When We Say We'd Order Three Of These If We Didn't Think We'd Explode
The Irish Coffee Man (which does not have the same ring to it as "Bread Boy" or "Wine Guy," but his function is just as important) begins creating the Best Thing I Ever Ate delicacy in a long line of glasses at the other side of the bar, and within moments, we clink our beverages together in cheers.

And with our first sips of this coffee, we have only one thing to say: "Waitress, bring another round."
The Sort of Assembly Line Work We Can Get Behind
Now, neither of us are exactly whiskey connoisseurs, and Ginger barely even drinks coffee at all, due to the profound jittery effect it has on her nervous system.  But we know enough to proclaim that these Irish coffees cannot be beat.  
Elixir of the Gods
Vaguely sweet, they manage to be refreshing and warm at the same time.  The cream topping maintains its foamy body through the entirety of the drink, and it is all we can do not to chug the creation and chain-drink the Irish Coffee Man's masterpieces for the rest of the day.
How Many of These Is It Socially Acceptable to Drink at This Hour?
By the time our sourdough bread bowl of soup arrives, we are becoming decidedly hammered and giggling like fools to ourselves about taking our whole "It's not even noon somewhere" concept to a whole new level (being that the time is currently, oh, 9:15am).  
It's Important to Stay Hydrated, Even When Doing Some Mid-Morning Boozing
The clam chowder itself is pretty good -- that is, after we (yes, Ginger included) douse it with about an entire shaker of salt ("We're getting old.  Our tastebuds are already dimming").  
When In New England... Oh Wait
Pre-Salt Attack
The bread bowl itself is a bit stiff (presumably because, you know, it has to HOLD SOUP), but overall, we are more than satisfied.
Apparently Our Teeth Are Also Growing Flat
By the time we stumble out of Buena Vista Cafe, two Irish whiskeys each to the wind, Ginger is singing -- SINGING -- "Tomorrow" from Annie, and occasionally interrupting her own Andrea McArdle moment by calling out, "Well, now I'm feeling CHIPPER!"  
Bet Your Bottom Dollar That Tomorrow, There'll Be Booze
It seems we have discovered why San Francisco people are so much more shockingly pleasant than folks in the rest of the country -- they begin their days at Buena Vista Cafe inhaling Irish coffees under the guise of needing a "caffeine fix."
Hi, Yes, Might You Have a To-Go Cup?
And we, too, can now solidly attest to the fact that rather than Folgers, the best part of waking up is whiskey in your cup.

Buena Vista's Cafe's Irish Coffee: 5 stars*

*Certifiable Best Thing I Ever Ate

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