The first time I drafted this post was on a Sunday morning in mid-March. It was unseasonablly warm and I had a boatload of essays—along with a plane ticket to NYC—hanging over my head. I wrote the opening paragraph, posted the photo and then quickly returned to writing about Francesca’s anaphora in the Inferno. By the time I was ready to turn my attention back to the croissant and blogging, I had forgotten what I croissant tasted like. I knew I was going to be commenting on the fact that it was bready but tasty. That, however, doesn’t exactly make the worlds most exicting blog post. I can’t stretch that out for more than a couple hundred words, if that much.
So, one day in late-April, with a boat-load of essays hanging far enough in the future and weather that was unseasonably cold and rainy, I decided to venture back to Coffee #1. After all, I needed to try that croissant again if I was going to write about it. The fact that I remembered enjoying it made this a not-at-all unpleasant scenario.
Of course, quite a bit happened over the interim of the two tastings. One was at the end of my English croissant eating expedition. After eating myriad of less than pleasing specimens, my expectations lowered more than a little bit. Now, I’ve just returned from New York where finding a good croissant is only a little more difficult than finding good coffee.
Arriving at Coffee #1 I was fed up with the weather, fed up with England and in need of a nice, peaceful breakfast. All I wanted to do was to collapse into a pleasingly rickety wooden chair at Almondine and drink a cappuccino with appalingly frothed foam. You know, a little slice of perfection.
That was not going to happen.
Coffee #1 is a west-country chain. A little less polished than BTP, their cafe in Clifton Village feels like a mix of a cute independent eatery and Starbucks. When I was younger (and by that I mean from when I was ten until present day), I loved playing Nancy Drew computer games. One of my favorites was Danger on Deception Island. This cafe feels like the restaurant in that game come to life. And that’s pretty awesome, seeing as I was obsessed with the restaurant as a kid.
I walked in, ordered a cappuccino and a croissant happy to know there would be a sprinkle sweet coco on top. There was no latte art, but the coco powder was splashed on in a cute swirly design. I took my food and went to sit in a table near the window.
The cafe was pleasantly full and hummed with activity the entire time I was there. In fact, the atmosphere was my favorite part of Coffee #1. That and, surprisingly, the coffee. Sure, my cappuccino tasted more like a latte, but it was still a good latte. Especially by Bristol standards.
The croissant, however, was a different story. Though I remember being pleased with the overall flavor last time, I found the texture to be so appaling that it absolutely ruined any good flavor lying underneath. The outside was nice, brown and flaky looking, but the moment you tried to pull a piece off, you realized the entire inside was a rubbery doughy mess.
I was extremely disappointed to say the least. This makes me wonder what exactly is going on with these croissants? How do these chains create their pastries? I certainly don’t believe they are homemade, especially not in this case. Are they sourcing them? Do they arrive half-baked? Frozen? Do they have to proof them overnight? I think I need to try and find out.
If you ever stumble upon a Coffee #1, go in. Enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the coffee, just stay away from the pastries.
What do you do when you eat something less-than-pleasing?