Thursday, August 12, 2010

Big Day Downtown (Part II): Cabin Coffee

So, since my first day of spending my free money consisted solely of a coffee, I guess I'm going to spend this money over a few different days. My second day of money-spending has, perhaps predictably, also involved coffee.

Cabin Coffee, to be precise. I've walked past this place on the corner of Salter and Hollis Streets many times. Sometimes I stop in after I've finished my first coffee of the morning from the Halifax Farmers Market, and I need that 11 am pick-me-up. This time, it was after a delicious chicken shawarma that I had from Venus Pizza; however that shawarma was not officially part of my Big Day Downtown, so I won't talk about it further except to say again that it was delicious.

At Cabin Coffee, I decided to get a cappuccino. This is a drink that I don't usually have; I prefer my caffeine to be shunted directly into my veins, not floating in a milk foam ether. In fact, the only cappuccinos I can remember drinking were those from Tim Hortons, and I don't think those count. I'm still not sure what the difference is between a cappuccino and a latte is (perhaps the more coffee-educated among you can tell me), but nevertheless it was very well-received by my palate. I think I forgot to ask for non-fat milk and I could definitely taste the creaminess I hadn't known since my last "double-double". I'm quite used to using skim these days.

The cinnamon bun was decent. I can't really give it a glowing review, because I have in my head a very high standard to which no cinnamon bun has come close since the closing of the Uncommon Grounds on Argyle Street. They made the best buns that I have ever had, and the remaining UGs make these weird cinnamon muffins that I can't even put in the same category. Some of the main strikes against it, in my books:
  • No frosting or glaze. A cinnamon bun's gotta have some glaze. Glaze is preferable to frosting, but just mixing some sugar with the cinnamon isn't enough for me.
  • Fell apart too easily. If I can't hold the thing in one hand and not have the layers separate before my eyes, invariably dropping onto my shirt or shoes, then how can I  be expected to enjoy it on the go? This is critical.
  • Not "doughy" enough. This one is nitpicky, and I think I may be in the minority on this one, but I like a cinnamon bun that is moist and chewy, not dry and crumbly like a tea bicsuit. This was a close call, but I think it fell short.

The ambiance of Cabin Coffee is certainly top notch. It's the quintessential laid back, neo-hippie vibe coffee shop. It actually reminds me of a place I know well: The Bridge Street Cafe in Sackville, New Brunswick. I think the service at Cabin Coffee is a little faster, but that's not really a feat of gargantuan proportions. Seriously though, how can you not like a place that has chandeliers that cast silhouettes of moose and bears across the establishment?

Overall, thumbs up to Cabin Coffee, but then, I've hardly met a coffee shop I didn't like.

Cabin Coffee large cappuccino + cinnamon bun + tip:  $6.50
Left to spend: $90.75

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