Thursday Morning

02008-06-19 | Bicycle, Photos, Santa Fe | 6 comments

Stop Driving

Rode my bike to Counter Culture for breakfast with Jon. I noticed the above sign and was glad that I was observing the new rule. We discussed some of the issues I brought up in my last entry. We tried to figure out what led to the bottomless coffee cup and unlimited buffet frame of mind in the first place. First of all there had to be a sense of abundance, e.g. we can obtain this food so cheaply, even if customers eat three plates full we WILL make a profit… but it is probably also true that managers recognized that their customers valued quantity over quality and therefore would not care if the bottomless coffee was actually damn weak and horrific. What do you think? Is this a phenomenon or the Seventies or Eighties, or did this start way back after the horrors of the depression. Jon and I managed to eat and talk for 100 minutes. I am always surprised how timeless a good conversation is/feels…

On the way to breakfast I noticed the sign...


  1. Carol

    Al’s Restaurant advertises all the coffee you can drink for only a nickel. I kinda like that. It’s like we need something in our hands after we’ve finished the meal and want to go on talking…forever. It’s very weak.The waitresses probably aren’t too keen on the idea since people do hang around a long time and hold down the table. I have nice strong Sumatran or Columbia coffee,etc. at home for before and after a trip to Al’s.

  2. steve1

    Hey Ottmar…

    Is that your bike in the photo? Is it a fixie? What kind?

  3. ottmar

    Hello Steve: click on the photo and you will find that info on my Flickr.

  4. Carol

    I did it again. obviously my comment has little to with timely signs or bicycles. It belongs onyou next one. Par for my course.

  5. Maggie

    The items you comment on tend to be an American phenomenon. In europe I don’t experience the waste or the sense that things are here to be consumed that you mention. Take gas (driving vice walking or zug), food, packaging, housing, heating – and there certainly is nothing here that resembles a buffet, and one tasse kaffee is sufficient.

  6. michael

    Wiki has an interesting history of the buffet and the history of the “all you can eat” buffet.

    “The “all you can eat” buffet has been ascribed to Herb Macdonald, a Las Vegas hotel manager who introduced the idea in 1946 . In his 1965 novel The Muses of Ruin, William Pearson wrote, of the Las Vegas buffet:

    At midnight every self-respecting casino premières its $1.50 buffet—the eighth wonder of the world, the one true art form this androgynous harlot of cities has delivered herself of…. We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. They are, laid out with reverent artistry: hors d’oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon, octopus, and salmon; turkey, ham, roast beef, casseroles, fondues, and curries; cheeses, fruits and pastries. How many times you go through the line is a private matter between you and your capacity, and then between your capacity and the chef’s evil eye.”


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