Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bacon Latte or The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

Recently some friends were in town and I thought I'd take them on a bit of a Bay Area coffee tour. Our exploits took us from Blue Bottle, to Philz, and finally to the Pirate Cat Radio Cafe.
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At the Pirate Cat Radio Cafe we imbibed in a bacon infused latte and a vegan bacon doughnut.
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Where to begin? The Pirate Cat Radio Cafe is an unlicensed community radio station that in the last year has opened a cafe. It is a vegan cafe, save for the infamous latte. Strange. I asked the barrista about this apparent contradiction who didn't see it as strange at all and declared the bacon latte as "pretty great." I ordered a donut to accompany the latte and only afterwards learned that it was vegan. Not that I'm against anything vegan, but really, a vegan donut is one of the more ridiculous things I've heard of. It immediately conjured up the name of the lead singer of the Dead Kennedy's, Jello Biafra. He chose his stage name because of the contradiction it represented: mass produced and nutritionally poor food, and mass starvation. And this is sort of how I feel about vegan doughnuts. Veganism is often a political and moral stance, but eating something so widely accepted as empty calories and vegan seems like a glaring contradiction.

But how was the latte you ask? Well it did give that lovely sweet salty flavor. Unfortunately, whether because we all knew what we were drinking, how rich it was, or it being the third coffee of the morning, it didn't exactly blow any of our socks off. After the first few sips my mouth had an unmistakable aftertaste of bacon. Maybe with these words, some of you are already out the door and on the way to your very first bacon latte. Regardless, I recommend a visit to to Pirate Cat as it's a great little cafe.
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Listen:

Everyone and their mother blogs about food and funny food the world over. It didn't used to be so, but now it's not unusual to see people stepping foot in a place for a brief period, eating something funny, and writing about it for shits and giggles. This has shown up all over the blogosphere, and even in some relatively well respected newspapers. We've got worms and grasshoppers in Thailand, Spiders is Cambodia, and god forbid, french fry coated hot dogs in Korea. The list goes on and on. People have talked it to death, but it is particularly tiring to see outsiders coming in and using the sport of adventure eating as a window into local cuisine and culture. However, I can't help but think that the Bacon Latte does in fact say something about America and maybe food blogging as a sport: it's bloated and increasingly irrelevant.

Pirate Cat Radio Cafe
2781 21st St
(415) 341-1199
www.piratecatradio.com

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