Café Boulangerie (804 Montana) is unlike any of the other coffee spots on Montana. It doesn’t have a fancy theme. It’s not part of a huge chain. It doesn’t offer anything you couldn’t find anywhere else. But what it does do, it does very well. It churns out tray after tray of tasty, fresh-baked breads, cakes, danish, and muffins all day, every day. And when you consider the fact that it shares a small space with a mediocre Chinese takeout restaurant (Panda’s Kitchen), that’s quite an accomplishment. I went there this morning intent on trying something new. “Tell me,” I said to the Friendly Pastry Maven behind the counter, “What do you recommend?” “How about a Cappuccino Muffin?,” she replied, “They’re very popular!” “I can see why,” I said, “Mind if I take some photos for my blog?” “Of course not!,” she said, “Feel fee!” As far as muffins go, this one – at $2.10 – was above average. It was moist, sweet and still warm from the oven. But people don’t linger at Cafe Boulangerie. They grab it and go … and that’s what I did.
Speaking of quick getaways, the Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief has been having a field day lately at 7th and Montana. Known for stealing copies of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times when he thinks no one is looking, then peddling away at warp speed on his getaway bike, the Newspaper Thief has become the stuff of local legend. Only one thing seems to keep him in check: a camera phone pointed squarely in his direction. Three of us have taken turns over the years doing the honors, but I – for one – will no longer play Van Helsing to his Dracula. I’ll focus, instead, on his daring escapes (see below). While we’re on the subject of ‘hot news,’ Barista Tyler reminded me today of something he did recently which in my opinion goes above and beyond the call of duty. A photo of me ran in Daily Variety after an industry event, but I was out of town and didn’t get a copy. He drove all the way to the Variety offices in Hollywood, picked-up a copy as a surprise and posted it on the bulletin board at Our Favorite Starbucks. Can you imagine anyone else at any other café in town doing the same thing? It’s that kind of spirit that keeps me coming back … !