The soft light and cozy atmosphere of the tiny cafe warmed my spirit the moment I walked inside. The decedent sent of baked goods and roasting coffee made my mouth water in anticipation. I made a beeline for the order line and mused over all of my options.
I could have the chicken club, but a sandwich wasn't exactly a warm dish. There's the tried and true broccoli cheese, but I just wasn't in the mood for that much cheese. Oh, what's this? "Try our new tomato basil. A thick rich soup made from vine ripened tomatoes, fresh garlic and basil, and topped with toasted Italian croutons and shredded sharp cheddar." I think I just found a winner.
I quickly placed my order with one of the teen new hires for the tomato basil soup and a large Carmel Macchiato. As I went to sit on on of the inviting couches that had a table Kris emerged from the back.
It always amused me how Viking like he looked. He had the outdoors build, the long blond braided hair with matching beaded beard. He also had tribal looking tattoos. He had told me they were called runes and held different meanings. To top it off he always wore this odd looking hammer necklace and actually had a hobby of making shields and swords. A stark contrast to our internet loving hipster crowds.
I smiled and called out to Kris happily not bothering to sit down and in return he stormed over embracing me in a bear hug.
"Good day, warrior Angel."
"Good afternoon to you too. I see you've added a few things to the menu." I greeted as we ended our embrace.
Kris laughed, "You can thank Joshua for that. He insisted I add his tomato basil to the menu."
"You never can tell that man no. Though I do think it's a wonderful addition. I even ordered it." I proudly declared making Kris grin even wider.
"Just wait until you find yourself that special someone. You'll do just about anything to see them smile. Anyways, are you still coming with us to his parents restaurant tonight?" Kris inquired as we sat down on the plump couches.
"Are you kidding me? I would never miss authentic Chinese food. If I do it's code for I'm being kidnapped or I need a doctor." I joked excited for the evening.
"I don't know how you can eat so much and stay healthy. I have to work out to keep my warrior body." Kris shook his head.
"Eh, genetics and I don't eat often enough. Not healthy in the long run, but I don't do it on purpose. I just kinda forget." I shrugged.
"Well, let me get you a cinnamon roll to add to your meal. Don't want you getting too skinny." Kris stated standing up.
"Kris, I haven't had any relapses of anorexia since high school. I've been doing really good." I sighed a bit hurt at his statement. It was true. The last time I was hospitalized for it was my junior year and that was almost ten years ago. I had gotten help and I could even joke about eating now, but it was really bad last time. I did almost die...
"I know it was awhile ago, but I still worry about you. You know you're like a sister to me." Kris softly explained. I nodded in agreement. He wasn't saying it to be mean. He was just worried about me. Kris left to the kitchen as my order arrived to my little table. They must have just finished a batch of soup when I ordered and the macchiato never took very long to make.
I took a spoonful of the soup and blew on it making the savory aroma drift around my face. It smelled slightly spicy and full of herbs. When the thick sauce like soup touched my tongue I could almost envision the beautiful garden or came from. The crunch of the crouton and the soft melted cheese danced along my tastebuds. The food here was always a magical experience.
Josh could win anyone over with his cooking. I knew the recipes, but I could never make it quite like him. One day I'll learn his magical cooking secret.
Kris returned to my table with the sinful cinnamon roll. While josh may have been the cook Kris was definitely the star baker. It was so hard to resist his lightly sweet fruit stuffed cinnamon rolls. His apple stuffed cinnamon roll was by far my favorite and it was the exact flavor he placed in front of me. I thanked him for his generosity and he patted me on the head in a loving way.
Even though I hadn't finished my soup I couldn't resist just taking one bite of the cinnamon roll. The warm icing flooded my mouth as the soft bread gooey baked apple tumbled onto my tongue. Notes of cinnamon and clove danced along my pallet alongside the buttery sugar from the apples. Pure bliss.
I spent a good hour enjoying the food and the warmth of the coffee before ordering a second Coffee Togo. I still had the rest of my shift to complete and two rather odd books to look into.