King Kona is the name of a new coffee shop in the First Plaza Galería (Third and Copper). The walls of the tiny shop are adorned with various ape-themed decorations (get it, King Kona?) and a glorious Hawaiian sunset. But the first thing you'll notice when you walk in the door is the aroma that creeps within your nostrils, hinting at a deep, rich brew. Kona coffee beans, from Hawaii, are the only beans grown in the U.S., didja know? We tried a sweet and mild Gorillacino, but were more impressed by the not bitter, not awful, actually good decaf. King Kona also sells cigars, so stroll on by if you're in the mood for a cup and a puff.
Cork dorks take note! I got an e-mail from Betty Taylor, who wrote in to say she enjoyed Taylor Eason's recent column about the movie Sideways, and to offer a correction. Eason had referred to the part of the film in which the characters drink an expensive and cherished bottle of Bordeaux, a 1961 Cheval Blanc, in a diner. She wrote that Château Cheval Blanc was located in the St. Émilion area of France, where Merlot is the dominant grape in the blends. As Taylor's note pointed out, “Although Merlot is the predominantly grown varietal in St. Émilion AC, it is not the predominant grape in Cheval Blanc. That distinction belongs to Cabernet Franc.” By golly, she's right. I had to look it up, but sure enough, Cheval Blanc does use more Cab Franc (about two-thirds) than Merlot (one-third) in their blended red wines, adding in about 1 percent Malbec for good measure. Most Bordeaux blends contain more Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot than Cab Franc. There's your wine trivia for the week.
I also got a handful of e-mails from people who liked last week's lament for local restaurants closing while chains and fast food joints reproduce like rabbits. One chef jokingly suggested he might follow the “If you can't beat 'em, join 'em” philosophy, but I really hope local restaurants don't have to stoop to Bloomin' onions in order to survive.
I love you, tipsters! If it weren't for my small army of eyes and eaters out there, "The Dish," would never happen. If you've got news for me, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 346-0660 ext. 245 or fax 256-9651. The juiciest tidbits will be rewarded.