Grey Dog

i finally ended up at grey dog and i was excited to sit outside but decidedly its still too cold for that nonsense. plus inside was a good vibe, i didn’t want to be too away from the people. i went to order at the coffee bar but i was stunned right in my tracks. the barista was plainly handsome in a magnetic way. His eyes and skin were too much like those of Alptug (Alp- like the Swiss Alps, and too, because the g is silent) a student at a university I worked at, in Turkey.

I had that little flashback and i think i must have blushed scarlet, I’m not sure. I stood there mouth agape, laughing nervously in little bursts—a ‘he he’ kind of laughing, nothing crazy. Crazy would have sounded like this: HAHAHA WOW! OH MY GOD! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE THIS GUY! Instead I sounded like this: “Oh my, you look just like someone I know.” I couldn’t help being terribly quiet and could do little more than try to begin a sentence three times. When my awkward could not be further contained, I apologized: “i’m sorry you look just like him” and he smiled, perhaps flattered. I started, “He was”…but I had nothing to say; between emotions and acute aphasia the only words i did manage to say (again) were….

”you look just like him”

“are you sure i’m not him”

“yes,” i replied, eyes wide but offering no resistance.

I did the dumbest thing possible next. I almost started crying. Eyes moistening, he began some exclamation of pity and i interrupted him…

I’d like coffee.

With milk? (he was sympathetic, not cool)

Yes. (He poured the perfect amount—i normally don’t drink drip without sugar)

Anecdote aside, the coffee was damn good. I reiterate: it didn’t need sugar. Bold enough to wake you up and smooth enough to drink in mouthfuls rather than sipfuls, the coffee is neither too sweet nor too bitter. The coffee alone is definitely worth a visit.  I took another greater length of time to choose between sweets. There was a heavenly selection: gluten-free coconut date macaroons (a giant cookie concoction impersonating a macaroon), lemon rosemary buttermilk cookie (or macaroon, i’m not sure at this point), blueberry, peach, and strawberry-rhubarb cobbler, and oatella and chocolate chip cookies were available. The girl with the very pretty look giggled at me “They really ought to pre-cut the slices,” she said, as she proceeded to give me a cake-sized portion. At $5 I could have fed three with that chunk, but instead I ate it alone like a fatty. “We make the whip cream here,” she added. How could I say no?

I asked her to warm it up and it was a perfect fix. the pie was just enough warm and the berries were just enough intact; the result was a delightful spoonful of both bursting and oozing blueberry.

Sweets and coffee aside, they do offer a full menu on colorful planks of wood behind the sweets display bar, California style: tuna&avocado taco, prawn & popper taco, baja fish taco is served right next to kale & wheatberry sald, cobb salad, champagne salad is next to the Michigan Sandwiches: ranging from Cuban, PB&J, and Philly Cheese Steak. They serve small platters too, of french fries (the cheese fries were mediocre—it’s actual cheese which I’m sure suits the organic lovers but personally i would have preferred the nasty melty dip kind)  hummus, wings, and veggies.
The atmosphere is casual, most people come in couples, and if business people do come in, theyve taken their jackets off. The entire place is made of wood: the walls, the floor, the table, the bar, they’ve got beams with an american (and Michigan) flag draped between them, colored stringed lights, and hanging bulbs encased in what can’t be better described than giant whisks. Service is funny: you order at the counter, can pay either then or after, get condiments  and cutlery yourself, but they bring the food to you.  Wifi is available. Will definitely come again. Great spot for work, date, or casual drop in for a quick(ish) meal.

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