Go to a place enough times that I can order “my usual” without explaining it.
Five words: “Medium soy chai latte, please.”
This is my preferred coffee drink. That, or a straight-up, black americano, which I swear isn’t as racist as it suddenly sounds. I digress.
Being raised on coffee, I take mine seriously. And when it comes to chai, there’s only one right answer: spicy. None of this sweet, diabetes-inducing stuff a certain mermaid-insignia’d corporation would have you believe is the real deal. No, I live in one of the greatest cities in the world, with so many cultures and customs and variants of every kind of food you could imagine — there has got to be good chai out there. Preferably within walking distance.
Well, my friends, I wasn’t wrong. You know how hole-in-the-wall dives most always turn out to be a better bet than chains? (Shoutout to my dad’s favorite TV show). This was no exception. Turns out, even their food is delicious — and did that lady just thank me for my order? Genuine politeness in a Manhattan deli? Is this real life?
Long story short, whenever I am close to home, don’t feel like cooking, and am probably craving spicy chai goodness, I have a place. And recently, I just had to walk in and my “friend” Ernesto was already grabbing a medium cup with a smile. Now, he didn’t ask if I wanted my “usual”, but I’m willing to bend the rules in the good name of all things Bucket List’d. This counts in my book. I think Ernesto would agree with me.