6 cups of coffee pt. 1

The rain returned to Austin, TX after a week of respite in other parts. I imagine it took a little end of summer vacation of its own now that the beaches and coastlines of America aren’t as crowded with students trying to get every last ounce of sand into their trunks and bikini bottoms before the first school bells ring. Starting with last weekend and on through this past Friday it looked like the normal summer that Austinites are accustomed. Towering blue skies filled with a cotton field of cloud not unlike something you would see north of Lubbock on the side of any highway. The Sun, merciless and unabating, turning the cabins of our cars into pressure cookers- I swear every time I opened my door I could hear that relaxing hiss of steam. But not this weekend- the rain returned fast and wet. I took advantage of this on Sunday after a careful Saturday night of carousal (at the behest of my brother and a party hosted by my friend Long) by sleeping through most, if not all, of the important parts of the day. That left me awake and rather cagey during the early part of that evening, so with The Flight of the Conchords on record I grabbed my moleskin journal and headed out to brave the weather and the wither looking for a cup of coffee.

Good coffee isn’t as hard to locate in this town as it is in San Antonio or any other major metropolitan area where the average Joe prefers his joe from a chain of Starbuck’s or Seattle’s Best (not the best in Seattle by the way- I give that award to Tully’s and then after that Bauhaus Books and Coffee only because I could actually locate the place to order at the Tully’s). The real trick is finding the best coffee at the best value without the risk of looking like you are there for anything other than coffee. That place used to be Spider House off of Guadalupe. I don’t recognize that place anymore and I stopped going either after an argument I had with a friend whilst there or they stopped their $1 bottomless cup of house. I tend to block out both moments for good reason. The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in this town came from late Friday nights at Katz’s and was paired with a pastrami ruben and some healthy conversation with the owner- but recreating that takes just the perfect situation and I am not one for perfection as of late. However, it is my opinion that the one place to go for the good coffee to value ratio would be Mozart’s on Lake Austin Blvd. and that is where I found myself pulling in at about 7pm last night.

Nestled between the frat hangout that is Hula Hut and the more upper-class yacht club and oyster bar, albeit popular, it isn’t the type of place the most trendy and hip of Austin would make an appearance. Unlike Ruta Maya or Dominican Joe you don’t have to worry about fitting into a scene (or not in my case) just to get a cup of coffee and a seat with enough lighting by which to write. Because they don’t serve booze the popped collars and trendy white skirts keep to their own establishment next door and on a good day the open air outside seating gives you a nice breeze right off of the lake. All of that and the $2.75 bottomless cup of coffee (Texas Pecan will make you slap your mother) is where I derive the solution to my formula.

The rain turned the night air balmy yet comfortable, but the outside seating was swimming in puddles that made utilizing the benches not unlike dinner on the Titanic. For this reason most of the crowd was inside huddled at tables with laptops and books and study materials. Maybe a pastry or few stalked the two and four tops amid the familiar sight of big sturdy diner-style coffee mugs. After obtaining my mug from the counter and filling it to the brim I surveyed the scene for a place to hole up for the next few hours.

That’s when I see it. The only empty table in the room. It sat in the corner dangerously close to a thin and beautiful brunette and her acoustic guitar. I hadn’t noticed when I first walked in but she had been supplying the soft music to the bustling establishment. I take my seat and almost instantly I realize that she wouldn’t be so hard to ignore.

magic of the melancholy tear in your eye.


~ by mlvassallo on September 3, 2007.

One Response to “6 cups of coffee pt. 1”

  1. Part 2 isn’t going to be posted on this blog. More on that later.

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