10 a.m. Friday. Needed a sweet. I sometimes go to CCC in the afternoons and sit with a hot chocolate and my Mac, but today I had a book and was hungry. There were three chocolate croissants lying on a pedestal just waiting. I ordered one along with a bottle of New Leaf Blackberry Lemonade. I'm not a coffee person.
Meaghan, one of the two sister owners, was behind the register (at least one of the two sisters is always there to maintain food quality) greeted me by name and we had a small conversation, which kept me at the counter long enough for my eyes to wander to the menu standing nearby. "Can I get a salad this early in the a.m.?" I asked and she brightly answered "Of course! You can get salads, soup, pastries and breakfast ANY time of the day here!" So I ordered the Signature Salad to start my day.
Since I am a grown up, I can eat my croissant as an appetizer before my entree so I did. And boy am I glad I did. It was warm! Not microwave warm. Fresh out of the oven warm. We all know the difference! Moist, and CHOCOLATE in EVERY bite! Every single bite. Nothing like the croissants we are used to accepting, you know the ones, they require you to put on your microbiologist hat and dissect the dry, airy pastry in order to discover the chocolate in some cranny. Not at CCC!
I finished it off just as the salad made its timely arrival: FRESH, plump, better-than-Whole-Foods-in-NO-way-wimpy spinach leaves with just the right amount of finely sous-chef'ed red onions, feta and toasted almonds along with even plumper, bright red, juicy, is-it-summer-already strawberries. Perfectly balanced amounts of varying textures from crunchy to creamy and different tastes from sweet to nutty to tangy/salty to greeny. All gathered and melded together with a house blend balsamic vinaigrette (patentable!) as if they all belonged nowhere else in the cosmos but in MY bowl, the one especially prepared for me just seconds earlier by the other "sister owner" Caitlin.
It was a culinary meditation bordering on the divine when the first, second and all-the-way-to-the-last forkfuls in my mouth demanded that I stop all other behaviors (reading, texting, FB'ing) and just savor.
I had to have another...no, not for me, but to take to a friend who had taken me to dinner the night before to celebrate a job losing me. And then, perhaps this was greedy, I purchased the last two croissants—one for my friend and one for the road. And yes, the one for my friend made it to her. She took one bite and her eyes rolled upward under her eyelids. Induced Divine Meditation again!
Did the fact that the book I brought with me "Breakfast with Buddha" have anything to do with my experience? I think not. CCC's cuisine stands on a culinary spiritual pedestal unaided by chanting.
Tell me, honestly, do you think you can resist? :)
Get there early. Who knows when I’ll snatch up the whole batch so I can buy friendships with people from whom I need favors. :)