Between Monterey Bay and Carmel, I would go for the latter. While the Monterey Bay Aquarium showcases a spectacular jelly fish collection, Carmel, which is officially known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, beats the touristy attraction with its quaintness. The pretty town paints quite a picture.
A beloved brunch spot, La Bicyclette, boasts “rustic French fare” and is known for butternut squash pizza and flaky croissants. For me, I chose to start my morning with a cinnamon bun and latte.
Well, the plenty large cup of Joe was served in a large ceramic bowl. (Read more about why coffee is called Joe).
On a sheet of printed paper, La Bicyclette explains that it is common for the French (apparently the rustic kind) to drink latte in a bowl. Furthermore, it hopes to carry on European coffee house tradition and establish itself as a place where the intelligentsia, such as philosophers, artists, poets, come and interact.
The café in European culture has always been more than just a place to eat and drink.
The café is where people from all walks of life, whether they are artists and writers, or business people and politicians, can come and interact freely.
I highly doubt Carmel, a sleepy seaside city, will ever be a business and political center. Nonetheless, I did experience first-handly the charm of European coffee houses when I studied in Vienna (2007).
In search of Old Vienna, I stumbled into Cafe Hawelka. Continue reading