Dear Tracey Clarke:
If you have ever wandered over to my blog, which I hope you have, you will know that I love food. More importantly, I love coffee. Good coffee.
Lucky for me, there are now a dozen Bridgehead coffeehouses dotting the urban landscape here in the nation’s capital. Today I stopped in to your Golden Street location at precisely 1:40 pm. Being one of your larger stores, I think of that particular coffeehouse as the ‘gateway’ to ‘Westboro West’.
My mission was to pick up two critical breakfast accoutrements for the upcoming gal pal weekend deep in chalet country on the Canadian Shield in Quebec.
The first item was a half pound of Nicaraguan Dark, ground for an automatic coffee machine, basket filter. At this moment, the bag is driving me to distraction. The scent of fresh ground coffee permeating from that bag is pure drug.
The second item I needed to purchase was your 500 gram container of chunky handmade Bridgehead Granola fresh from the Bridgehead Kitchen. I faltered for a moment as I grabbed the 1.2 kg bag out of pure gluttony. Three breakfasts and four ladies. No matter how I did the math, there was no way I could justify it. I love how the rolled oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and almond extract cleave to each other in gentle bundles that quickly relax at the slightest touch of a knowing spoon or a closing jaw. This granola is headed to the top of the heap of fresh fruit and plain, fresh yogurt.
I thought my visit was straight forward, but as can often be the case, approaching the cash is not without its dangers. It was well past noon and without hesitation I scooped up your last pre-made tuna sandwich. Your grainy bread (also from the Bridgehead Kitchen) is pillowy soft. The cucumbers and lettuce, crisp. I love that you and your master food people know that dill and capers are absolutely exquisite in a tuna sandwich. Nice that you offer your sandwich bread for sale by the loaf.
When my foot crossed the threshold, I think I already knew that I would not get out of Golden without a latte crossing my lips. Being of the older persuasion, I know that past noontime means any coffee must be decaf. I love that you can make a decaf latte not seem like fake coffee. A mirage of ‘high test’ all the way.
It is with great regret that I did not ask the name of the young gentleman on Barista duty for my sacred potion. The espresso for my coffee was deep, full-bodied and thick. The micro bubbles of milk were silkily poured into my cup with the steady precision of an artist’s hand. My latte art was not one fern. Not two ferns. But a full bouquet of three ferns engraved into my espresso crema. It would not be wrong to promote him to Barista Maestro if you have such a title.
So why am I writing? You already know your lattes are drinks for the gods. Even if mine was a decaf. You already know that your Bridgehead kitchen is doing very good things with your granola, your bread and your other culinary creations. You already know you have top-notch teams working each coffeehouse.
I am writing to you because I wanted to tell you that I know too.
One of Ottawa’s Real Foodies
440 Richmond Road (at Golden)
Mon to Sat: 6:30 am – 10 pm
Sun: 6:30 am – 9 pm