i had two (2):
– not so good espressos while in PEI. i briefly entertained the notion of doing a little espresso tour of Charlottetown, because what better alleviates boredom, after all, than nervous frustration and gut rot? unfortunately, after two uninspiring and rather rubbery-tasting rounds at local cafés* i decided that my insides could be better spent after other pursuits. details to follow.
– two excellent espressos while in Halifax. the first, at…..let’s say…the Smiling Goat? yeah, 1551 south street. a tiny little place that looked a little immaculate for my tastes, but wherein they offered a variety of vegan, organic and gluten-free snacks, at sort of reasonable café prices, and seemed to be genuinely nice folks on top of which. further, i had an espresso romano, about which i had previously heard and been curious (this is espresso with a bit of lemon juice and a twist of peel), and that was very good, although struck by how delicious their espresso itself was (i believe i had the Fog City Blend, one of a couple of espresso roasts to choose from, including something from Intelligentsia, who are pretty unbeatable, and offered here in Mtl by Caffé In Gamba, who are also very good, if a little heinous, atmosphere-wise), i almost regretted not trying it totally unadulterated.
the second was at Steverino’s which i believe was on….Brunswick st? it shouldn’t be hard to find, near the library and that big statue of The Thing (Lee’s, not Carpenter’s), and find it you should, because honestly i think that was the best two espressos i’ve ever had. certainly the first time i can recall ordering a second coffee purely in the interest of gastronomic pleasure, heedless of considerations social, dispeptic or stimulative.
so you know, beat that with a bat.
* what’s with that, anyway? i’ve run into this before – at some unfortunately named café/resto in Sherbrooke (Caffuccino? wtf?) that i’ll admit did have a beautiful espresso bar, independent from the rest of the restaurant – espresso that, independent of whether it tastes bitter or burnt or watery or even somewhat palatable otherwise, has a bit of an undertaste of almost soapiness or rubberiness and a disconcerting mouthfeel…can anyone elaborate on this? a machine that wants for cleaning? or has been cleaned too recently? it’s not pleasant and i wish it would stop.