Today I had quite the little adventure. I set off to write at my normal haunt--a relatively new Starbucks by my house on 17th Street--but then suddenly decided to visit the brand new Starbucks on 50th Street.
When I first stepped inside, I was amazed by spacious atmosphere. This Starbucks has plenty of seating for two or four, and five plush red armchairs circling in front of a fireplace. Right away I checked out the power outlets (I always plug my laptop in) and saw at least 3 areas where I could sit and write. I've already made my claim on a very comfortable couch. :)
The assistant manager Kris used to work at the other Starbucks, so it was very nice to see a familiar face. For me, Starbucks doesn't just represent great coffee and a place to write, but a welcoming environment with people I can get to know. And both of my Starbucks have that. It's always nice to know I'm missed if I don't show up for a week or two. :)
Today I met the store manager and the district manager, and I am planning an exciting book signing for December. More on that later.
After a productive writing day, I decided to head a few stores over and visit a restaurant I've been meaning to check out--Rasoi on 50th - The Indian Kitchen. Ironically, I used to visit this location many days a week when it was a Cappuccino Affair. Yes, I love my specialty coffees! :) It was great to see what the new owners had done to the place. There's now an intimate setting on the upper floor for dining, soft lighting, great music, and a bar. It's tastefully decorated--part Indian, part modern.
During the week, Rasoi offers a lunch buffet. The food is not too spicy and very flavorful. I ordered an assortment of dishes so my family and I could try a few different things. Yummy Tikki (fried potato patties), Prawn Curry, Fish Masala, Samosas, a variation of fried and baked flatbreads, saffron rice...I think my favorite was the Butter Chicken. The owner, Neil Nayyar, was right; it's the best I've tasted! Neil and his lovely wife are perfect hosts, and they really like to make you feel at home.
Back when Rasoi was Cappuccino Affair, I had gotten to know that owner, Victor, and he allowed me to put up posters of my book covers in the washrooms. I even held my book launch for The River there, back in 2005. Today I was so stunned to find out that Neil had left my posters up in the washrooms. I think he was rather surprised to meet me. :) Rasoi on 50th will be participating in my special Starbucks event in December. Again, you have to wait to learn more.
For now, I highly recommend that if you're in the south Edmonton area, you must stop by the strip mall on 43rd Ave & 50th St. and visit the new Starbucks for a Caramel Macchiato, then pop over to Rasoi on 50th - The Indian Kitchen for some awesome Indian cuisine.
Who knows? Maybe I'll see you there! :)
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,