“So, have you had breakfast? How about some coffee?” Carol, my self-appointed guide for the day asks. She is maneuvering the car through steady traffic always looking for a parking spot that won’t take us too far away from the action. I shake my head to the question about coffee. “OK, we are going to grab an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista.”
Carol is not waiting for or expecting an answer I realize immediately. This is not up for debate. All I can think is that “Irish Coffee” in California must be the virgin type, especially since this a menu item up for consideration on a Sunday morning.
The car is parked, we have sixty minutes. We hurry to cross the trolley tracks. Carol is setting the pace as we move swiftly. We are keenly aware that time passes too fast when you have a great time.
We push open the door of the Buena Vista Cafe: warmth, noisy chatter, and the delicious scent of coffee envelop us immediately. We navigate the narrow path between occupied bar stools and small tables laden with brunch platters filled with the most delicious looking foods. Two bar stools open up as we reach the back of the restaurant. We quickly claim our seats. A perfect spot.
Carol holds up two fingers, and without a second lost two glasses filled with dark liquid, topped with a smooth white crown of cream appear out of nowhere, just like magic. I am still not sure if this is the after diner treat I am familiar with. One sip confirms – it is Irish Coffee and it is only 11 a. m… It’ s goes down smooth!
Click on the video link above for a demo on the Irish Coffee production line at the Buena Vista. And in case the direction of the video is too skewed (I apologize!), here are the individual steps for an out of this world result. Step one: Line up glasses. Step two: Preheat glasses with hot water. Step three: Discard the hot water. Step four: Place two sugar cubes into the glasses. Step five: Add hot, strong coffee and stir vigorously. Step six: Introduce Irish Whiskey. Step seven: Top with soft whipped cream. Step eight: Serve. Ahhhhh! No need to push further – the enjoyment is natural.
A great variety of historical ships and boats are anchored along the pier. Walking among the vessels is free; to gain entry visitors with extra time on their agenda can obtain a day pass and explore at leisure.
We hear shouts and lean over the railing. A group of four hardy members of the local Polar Bear Club are in the process of reaching a decisions on how many more miles to add to their Sunday swim. We hear a female voice with Australian accent shout: “One more mile and let’s call it a day!” and off they are, half submerged and slicing through the blue liquid at speed.
We enter the shop and are immediately greeted with a smile and a seasonal treat: pumpkin spice caramel in creamy milk chocolate. Best intentions to resist are now overthrown and we leave with an assortment of chocolate bars and individually packed squares. I do hope mine make it home as gifts…
…to be continued…