On the first morning in Honolulu I took an early walk and figured at the end I would stop by this cafe that I discovered a few years ago. They opened at 0700 but it was already 0720 by the time I arrived. There was a line that snaked out of the entrance, and down the street, of at least 100-150 people who were waiting for their turn. So I continued on my way and found coffee elsewhere.
Today I wondered whether it was simply a matter of timing my approach to the cafe. There might be a window around 1030-1100, I figured, when the line would be shorter. Another possibility could be around 1330. Too late for morning coffee and too early for coffee and a pastry after lunch. I arrived at 1330 and there was only one person in line. I ordered a cortado, naturally, and a mushroom, caramelized onions, and gruyere tartine on sourdough. A tartine is food on a slice of bread and a sandwich is food between two slices of bread. Yes, the only thing the Earl of Sandwich did, to become immortalized, was to order his butler to add a second slice of bread on top so that it would be less likely that the toppings spilled onto his hands while he was playing cards with his friends.
The cashier tried to upsell the cortado to 100% Kona beans but I declined. The $5.50 they were charging was already steep and I won’t taste the difference once the milk is added. Had I ordered an espresso or Americano it might have been worthwhile, maybe.
As I sat down with my cortado and the tartine, I began to overhear a man speaking loudly about diapers. He probably didn’t mean to inform everyone about how diapers are constructed, and about the different materials that are used for urine and feces. The voice was honking and cut through the noise floor of the coffeeshop, even though I was three tables away from him. His table partner’s replies could not be heard at all. She didn’t “honk” and spoke more softly. I also learned that “real pistachio oil” is only sold in Sicily and Rome. I thought that was intriguing. Why is that? There were also a few sentences about the speed with which vitamins expire. I wasn’t even paying attention but no one in the cafe could help hearing this man.
I had a perfect little lunch. They say “Dinner and a Show!”… well, I had lunch and a show! Timing is everything. As I left the cafe the line was back up to 22.