United States of Coffee: Hungry Ghost

For some people, July 4th is the perfect day to break out the grill, grab a cold   and invite some friends over for a backyard barbecue.  Last week, however, the holiday began with a smattering of rain.  It was never going to stay rainy; it couldn’t.  And it didn’t.  Quicker than you could believe, it got hot and steamy for this oh-so-American holiday.

Celebrating the fourth  is not my forte.  I don’t have the patriotic fervor that the holiday demands to endure waiting outside to see fireworks in an oppressivly humid eighty-five-degree evening.  I don’t enjoy eating hot dogs, hamburgers, drinking beer, sitting outside with mosquitos.  People would probably rather that I stayed at home with my cider and personal playlist than bring the cheer to the fourth barbecue.

But, last week, I tried my hardest.  I woke up, ate blueberry/blackberry pancakes with my dad and got some coffee.  Which cafe would be open on this day of jubilation and beach going?  I needed to find the cafe that would moderately match my half-hearted attempt at celebration.

The winner was Hungry Ghost.  I’d first heard about them via retweets from Stumptown.  How modern!  My feet slid into my rainbow flip flops in a celebratory moment and off we went.  The walk was hot and moderately oppressive in that way that only the fourth can inspire.  It wasn’t bad, it felt like a mini party.  After a bit, I was there.

Walking in, I was hit by a cool relief of air conditioning and dark colors.  The interior was monochromatic grey, with a bit of wood, also in a grey-ish hue.  I surveyed the board, decided on a cortado (I actually didn’t see a cappuccino on their menu) and sat down.

The atmosphere was surprisingly lovely and the space shockingly large.  There was a good amount of seating with a communal table, a bar and some comfy chairs in the window.  It looked like the sort of place where, if you got the right seat, you could sit down in and relax for hours.  Or as many drinks as it took to empty your pockets.

Then, my cortado arrived.  I’ve only ever gotten cortados from La Colombe before so I was eager to see how this one stacked up.  This cortado was spectacular.

As I drank, appreciating the dark, deep, almost chocolatey taste, I wondered if I was enjoying a high-quality cortado or if my favorite thing about it was the beans they were using.  Stumptown is, after all, known for their powerful blends.  Either way, this cortado was top notch.  I only wish the latte art matched the taste in quality.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have a super american coffee on the fourth.  It was spanish, which feels closer to home than an Italian drink.  At least pancakes for breakfast counts as a celebration.

Do you enjoy doing anything themey to celebrate holidays?

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