It’s been a month an a half since I launched my new morning cappuccino regime. Surely you’ve been asking yourself “how’s it going so far, Pete?” (assuming that you are Ann Thurlow, Catherine or Oliver, the only three people in the world who call me Pete).
And so on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings around 7:30 a.m. you’ll generally find me at Beanz, perched on a stool in the front window. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays you’ll find me at Timothy’s, sitting at a table for two along the wall.
I am nothing if not a creature of habit, so I order the same thing in both places: regular cappuccino and a toasted sesame bagel with swiss cheese and tomato.
The cappuccino isn’t world class in either place, but it’s somewhere between “okay” and “acceptable” and I’ve decided that’s got to be good enough for me. I’ve even gotten used to the fey glass mugettes at Beanz.
The bagel with swiss and tomato is a throwback to my youth: every morning during the summer of 1985 I would take the GO Train into Toronto, get off at Union Station, walk across to the food court under the CIBC skyscraper, and order swiss tomato bagel and an apricot nectar. I’d then walk over to the subway and ride up to the Museum station where I’d split my days between volunteering at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Athenians project.
Beanz and Timothy’s are study in contrasts.
At Beanz my order is exactly the same every time: same bagel, same cappuccino, always served with a teaspoon and a napkin, always the same price. And I always have to get my own sugar.
Timothy’s is more improvisational: the cappuccino’s always the same, but the bagel comes out different every time (sometimes more cheese, sometimes less; sometimes open faced, sometimes not), and the price seems to vary between about $3.00 and about $5.00 depending on the day and the server. And I always have to get my own sugar, and reach around behind the counter to get a teaspoon.
Each place has its own attractions, which is why I alternate back and forth.
Interestingly, my standard order was recognized as “your usual” on two successive days at each place, suggesting that it takes about a month of regular morning visits to be recognized as “a regular” at a Charlottetown coffee shop.