Saturday, August 1, 2009

Latte, Coffeeselect, Northcote

Oddly, I'm back in Northcote again. I know it's only about 3 minutes from my house, but I don't find a reason to go there very often for some reason. Maybe it's because it involves an enormous hill and I don't like to drive up anything I wouldn't usually walk up. But that aside, I was in Thornbury this afternoon, and figured the Westgarth/High St region was not a huge detour on the way home. Cheeko had highly recommended, via blog comments, a place called Sillyak "across the road" from Phil's, so this seemed like a good opportunity to drop in.

I guess "across the road" can mean different things to different people, and I must have looked more than slightly mental walking up and down the first block making sure I hadn't missed any shopfronts. During both passes, however, I couldn't help but notice the aroma seeping out of Coffeeselect. And they had a Presso proudly on display near the door, a manual machine that requires no power (assuming you have access to hot-enough water) that I haven't seen in real life before. So I added them to my mental If I Don't Find Sillyak I'll Go There list.

The next block, the one with the cinemas that used to play Blues Brothers every night or something, stretched the concept of "across the road from Phil's", but I figured the place was either gone, or in that block. As it turned out, it was kind of both there and gone at the same time. "Under New Management". The writing was, if not on the wall, on the window. This made me nervous. New management may not know how to coffee. But that's not the only thing that made me nervous. The new management had changed the name from the quite silly yet quite clever Sillyak (a play on coeliac - this perfectly fits the B-Sharps criteria of a name that's funny at first but gets less funny every time you hear it) to SACS. Special Allergies Something Something. I found it hard to remember the actual acronym, because the word "sac" already reminds me of a few other things:
  • I know a hell of a lot of people who use this as another acronym: "sweet as cuz". SAC in this form can be used interchangeably with any of, "yes", "I agree", "outstanding", "acquire complete knowledge or skill in", etc.
  • Another acronym: Something Assessment Something. The SAC was introduced a few years after I finished high school.
  • And of course, this poetic little medical nugget: "the distended membrane surrounding a hernia, cyst or tumor."
So obviously, I don't want to eat or drink from one of those. I have since googled around and found the new SACS has been blogged, with the use of encouraging-sounding phrases like "as good as it used to be" and "the coffee is even good", so I will give them a try next time I'm in Northcote. I know a bloke who is building the recording studio equivalent of the Millenium Falcon around the corner from there, so I'm sure I'll be back in the area soon.

So, on to the place I actually did go to. Coffeeselect. As you can probably tell, they are now serving crepes.

The coffee wasn't great. You know when sometimes it doesn't really taste like coffee, more like slightly bitter (and not milky) water and you look down at the cup and think, "Why am I drinking this? This is not enjoyable. It might be if I drink it through a Twix, but that's it. Man, I should go and get a Twix. Oh but I can't really justify that now, I just spent $3.30 on this coffee. I don't deserve a Twix after that." Strange for a place with so many coffee machines that also advertises one-on-one barista training. Maybe the crepes are okay. But this place isn't called Crepeselect. I guess I might select coffee somewhere else next time I'm in this neighbourhood.

(Yes, I know the rest of the article covered that. SACS.)

1 comment:

  1. hi Ryan - damned bad luck!This place is walking distance from my house, so i go there most weekends for a dbl shot. Haven't had a bad coffee there yet...