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Starbucks is planning to open a new location right across the street from my office.  To announce the upcoming store, they put up a big sign that reads, “Don’t Worry!  Expected Delivery Winter 2011.

But here’s the deal:  I wasn’t worried.  Seriously, this is Seattle and coffee is just not something I have to worry about.

Here is a list of adequate (if not favorite) coffee shops that I can get to easily each day, without even going more than a block or so off my normal pedestrian route:

And these are just the places I am willing to grab coffee.  There are other places, like Fremont Coffee Company and Caffe Ladro, which are more than 2 blocks from my pedestrian path & hence not on this list.  There are others I’ve left off because I don’t enjoy their product.

So as you can see Starbucks, I wasn’t terribly worried.  But I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your concern for my mental health. In a day and age when companies don’t often consider their customers’ needs, your consideration of my mental state is refreshing.  As refreshing as a hot, steamy espresso drink on a cold, rainy day in the Pacific Northwest.

Now, when does the new store open exactly?  I’ve got a hankering for a caramel macchiato.

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For this installment of “Things That Are Wrong” :  BP.

I’d planned a long rant to go in this post, but there’s no need.  The good folks over at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre have done a better job than I can, so we’ll let them do the work this time. Thank you UCB!

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A while back I noticed how totally hip it was becoming to forego traditional wedding cakes in favor of fancy little cupcakes.  Then suddenly, cupcakes were everywhere. 

Atlantic Magazine published a piece called “Not So Guilty Pleasure” about cupcakes last year.   And recently the Seattle PI’s Reader Blog, BoomerBlix, published “The Cupcake Craze.”   Trophy Cupcakes served Guinness beer flavored cupcakes in 2009.  Now they’ve got “chai cardamom.” 

The point I’m making is that you can spot a full blown craze when everyone begins re-inventing something we are already familiar with — and love.   That’s why I predict a milkshake craze any day now:

  • Seattle’s Blue Moon Burgers spent the past few months selling a “Cake and Shake” where you could pick a shake flavor, AND a cake flavor.  They put real chunks of cake & icing into the milkshake and hit “whir” on the blender.  Vanilla vanilla, peanutbutter chocolate, german chocolate chocolate, etc.   Yum!
  • Blue Moon is also testing out an Irish Creme shake right now.  Which reminds me…
  • Last week I went to a meeting where someone brought Dick’s vanilla shakes & contreau.  It was like a drunken dreamsicle!  Or is it creamsicle?  Anyway.  Dick’s shakes are really yummy but not very thick, so they are perfect for adding a spash of liquor.  Next time, I plan to try a chocolate shake with amaretto.
  • Epicurious has a recipe for a coffee avocado milkshake.
  • Look up Victor Idaho’s “Victor Emporium” on Yelp, and 2 out of 2 reviewers are bragging about the world famous huckleberry milkshakes.
  • You can order the following milkshake mixes from The Gourmet Coffee Shoppe online: banana nut bread, cherry cola, and even strawberry shortcake.

And now I”m just waiting for the bacon chocolate craze to hit the ice cream stores & malt shops…

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