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Back Buzz - September 19, 2013

pumping heartChoco-Latte, 536 Great Western Road, Glasgow, Scotland

Recently we went to a wedding up in Scotland, on the shores of Loch Lomond. We stayed in a friendly and homey little bed and breakfast; but as is typical with ninety percent of British B&Bs, the breakfast coffee looked and tasted like dishwater, so each morning after breakfast we found ourselves with a driving need to find some real coffee.

On the day we left Loch Lomond to head closer to home, we stopped for the required real coffee in Glasgow. As we drove through the city on the Great Western Road, also known as the A82, we spotted an appealing little cafe on a corner with an intriguing name. Miraculously we even found a parking space close by.

We passed by the pavement tables and entered Choco-Latte. Happily the coffee menu lists both single and double macchiatos, which made ordering easy and heightened our hopes for ending up with proper macchiatos.

We sat at a table near the sunny window. Our macchiatos were served in proper macchiato cups decorated with "Fitzwater & Sons Quality Coffee and Teamakers" as well as descriptions of an espresso macchiato. Our drinks were surprisingly good, seeing as how this cafe was just pot luck for us as we drove sleepily down the road. The coffee was smooth yet robust on the tongue -- just what the doctor ordered. On the morning after a Loch Lomond wedding where I was surrounded by kilted men, I found this macchiato restorative as it washed away the effect of multiple pints and refreshed my dancing legs.

The food menu features cakes (one of which Andrew had with his coffee), paninis, toasties, bagels, croissants, waffles, jacket potatoes, bruschetti, ice cream drinks, and the cafe's speciality, the choco-latte ice, which will remain a mystery to me.

Speaking of interesting food reminds me of a recent e-mail exchange with my Bay Area friend:

Tomorrow starts a 4-day holiday weekend for me. Sadly I'll miss several live music events in Sheffield. I'll also miss the World Gravy Wrestling Championships in Rossendale, Lancashire.

Perhaps they should combine this with the Cheese Rolling Festival in Gloucestershire. At the World Gravy Wrestling and Cheese Rolling Championships they could feature gravy rolling, a very tricky event which would probably require the use of a lattice of meat to hold the gravy long enough for the ride down the hill. Entrants could experiment with the rolling aerodynamics of chicken thighs, spare ribs, T-bone steaks, turkey slices, etc.

My favourite event would be Cheese Wrestling. Mozzarella wrestling would be a bouncy pleasure, as would Bavarian Smoked Cheese wrestling, although a bit smelly. Gorgonzola wrestling would be quite messy, and you'd need to be a heavyweight to attack a Pecorino.

(Why do I find comfort in waxing poetic about cheeses?) I remember seeing "Incredibly Strange Wrestling" in San Francisco in the 90s (actually a rather conventional, no-holds-barred, choreographed stage show with the twist that audience members were encouraged to fling tortillas into the ring), but gravy wrestling looks much more entertaining. I like the shot of Mrs. Christmas in gravy-soaked fishnets and Santa's cap.

I love your ideas for gravy rolling and cheese wrestling (wrestling a soft goat cheese or grated Parmesan would pose a different sort of challenge). This reminds me of a sign on saw while passing a Wendy's joint in San Leandro: Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. My immediate inspiration was to consider yet another random-number-driven fast food trend generator (packaged snack food + meat or seafood item + fast food menu category); even better would be a new food sport (perhaps snack + meat + Olympic event). Cracker Jack Lobster Long Jump or Ho-Ho Chicken Wing High Hurdles would be obvious events, but it's hard for me to imagine how one might stage the Pop Rock Pork Belly Parallel Bars. I'll have to give this some thought.