Est. 1941

Cafe Grumpy • New York, NY

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Date: 11-09-12
Location: New York, NY.
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: M.L. Morris & Luis Valdizon

It was a chilly afternoon in Manhattan and my first time visiting SoHo. David, Bill and I were traveling to Cafe Grumpy to meet their long-time friend Elizabeth, who runs a superb site called The Coffee Experiment that I've coincidentally been following from my hometown of Vancouver. She's one of the most elegant and incredibly talented people I have had the privilege of being introduced to via David. Our meeting at Cafe Grumpy was her idea and although I knew very little about the cafe, I couldn't help but be excited. She is constantly visiting some of the most prestigious coffee establishments across the globe, so I knew we were in for a treat. We ordered cappuccinos made from a batch of espresso beans from El Salvador, if my memory serves me correct. All except for Bill, who ordered his usual: a black drip coffee. We sat down, sipped our drinks and took in the ambience of Grumpy's private outdoor patio. The cold didn't seem to bother any of us. At some point amidst our conversations, Elizabeth debuted her beautiful engagement ring to us, which has since been worn with a white dress and received a gold companion. Moments like this paired with excellent coffee, autumn colors, crisp air and the New York City backdrop are ones I'll never forget. I couldn't have asked for a more picturesque afternoon.

Seattle, WA • The Pancake Chef

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Date: 07-07-13
Location: Seattle, WA.
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: M.L. Morris & Luis Valdizon

When in search of true local culture and people in an American city, diners are always a safe bet. They're also very convenient because they tend to stay open 24 hours or lift their locks extremely early in the morning, which typically equals extremely late at night for us. While on tour, we frequent them often, usually opting for the breakfast fare no matter what time of day it is--it just feels right.

Aside from only being open from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. most days, The Pancake Chef is a quintessential American diner: the menu sprawls all three meal groups at all times, the food is as greasy and sweet as you want it to be, the coffee is decent, and the hospitality and service are incredible. But as you probably presumed from its name, the specialty of this local Seattle fixture is their pancakes. The wide variety they offer includes Applejack Pancakes, Golden Pumpkin Pancakes, Michigan Black Cherry Pancakes, Gluten-Free Pancakes and even Potato Pancakes. Basically, any type of pancakes you can imagine, they have. For those looking for something a bit less fluffy, the omelettes and breakfast platters are solid choices as well. Just make sure to try a glass of their fresh-squeezed orange juice to go along with whatever you choose--many thanks to our generous waiter for that recommendation.

Personally, I love the American diner experience because of the people, and The Pancake Chef was no exception. Destinations like this are akin to time capsules. When you step foot inside, it's almost as if you're transported back to simpler times. The pace is slow, the food is comforting and people-watching the regulars and locals is always a fun past time. It's amazing what you can learn by observing and listening to people authentically live out their lives while chowing down on a triple-stack of flapjacks.