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2008-03-10

>Coffee or tea? Or organic mint melange, cafe latte, jasmine pearls...

Menus used to end simply with "coffee or tea".

Now, humble coffee and tea routinely come with a list of choices (at times puzzling - breakfast tea at dinner? Why not, if you want to stay up?) that fight for space with desserts, dessert wines and cheeses.

Last week's Italian dinner at Perbacco in San Francisco was another agreeable one. The menu came with too many choices, however, considering you can only try a couple. Three choices of crudo (hamachi, tuna, cuttlefish noodles) seven choices of salumi tasting plates (salame, cooked salumi, cured meats, salumi misti, fegatini d'anatra, ciccioli, prosciutto) 12 appetizers (including vitello tonnato, bagna caoda, baccala fritto, fritto misto,
puntarelle, various salads), 10 choices of soup, pasta, risotto, eight main courses (the Incredible Shrinking Main Courses - a story by itself), five side dishes.

Coffee, espresso, cappuccino and latte have become de rigueur choices.
Compare Perbacco's tea selection with Flora's, a Classic Californian restaurant in Oakland.

Loose Leaf Tea (Perbacco)

organic English breakfast
wild blackberry
mountain spring jasmine
organic mint melange
ginger twist
chamomile citrus

Tea (Flora)

hojicha - toasted green tea
ancient forest - rich and smooth black tea
lemon verbena - light, refreshing herbal tea
jamine pearls green tea - green tea "pearls" scented with jasmine

1 comment:

  1. I often get overwhelmed by all of the available choices at restaurants these days as well. Especially the coffee options. I always want to try a new brand or flavor, but the options are so numerous and the quality so hit and miss that I rarely end up making a good decision.

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