Cafe Witness

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pleasant Surprise: Tuscany Cafe

Ann and I had a business meeting this morning with the Regional Internship Center. We decided to meet at the Tuscany Cafe on East Carson Street, which is near their office but much quieter (and more professional) than the Beehive.

Atmosphere: I haven't been here in almost a year, but it's pretty much the same as I remember it: dark reds and browns, very clean, sparsely populated. Cold. The overhead fans are comfortable but sitting in the direct path of the AC (as we are now) is a bit icy.

Food and Drink:The chai teas were great; not as good as Tazzo D'Oro, but certainly commendable. We split a grilled vegetable panini sandwich which was very good (should have each gotten our own because my half left me wanting more). Plus, they wisely have a water pitcher and plastic cups available for the folks who just need to quench their thirst -- which, considering this is a coffee bar, is probably everyone. Nice touch.

Service: Friendly, laid-back and patient. No complaints. The sandwich-making barista suggested we play it safe with a wheat panini. His co-barista brought the sandwich out in two separate baskets (with two pickles!) because she didn't know if we were going to split it or not -- smart move.

Variety: Sandwiches, paninis, muffins, cookies... Enough to keep my attention.

Free Wireless?: Yes! Unlocked to the masses.

Miscellaneous: A clean and spacious bathroom. Ample seating space. A fully-stocked bar for evening service (!). Smoking IS allowed (hence, the overhead fans). And at least 6 wall outlets (that I've counted so far) for the laptop-reliant.

It looks like the Tuscany Cafe, which is the alternative to The Beehive (which is already the alternative to Starbucks), holds up rather well.


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