Daily Archives: April 10, 2016

When Starbucks becomes Barbucks

When I first heard that Starbucks was gonna start serving beer, I thought it was some kinda April Fool’s joke.  But they ain’t foolin’—Starbucks Evenings are actually a thing. I guess I can see where they’re going with this; I mean, science says drinking coffee at night is bad for you, while drinking wine is good…or apparently not anymore.

But even if there is supposedly no level of safe drinking, nobody wants to be the guy drinking beer at a coffee shop. It’s kinda like being that creepy guy at the end of the bar drinking coffee. Shouldn’t you be somewhere else, bro?

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But today I was that guy. And I didn’t get any dirty looks across the bar, cuz it was only a three-seater. If you’re downtown, the closest Barbucks in Toronto is at 446 Spadina Rd, which is not in Chinatown next to the ElMo, but rather up in Forest Hill, a couple blocks north of St. Clair. I wish I had known that before I put on my flip-flops, but hey, it’s all good and it’s all in fun.

And while they call it Starbucks Evenings, the show actually starts at 2 in the afternoon, just in time for the third inning. They’ve got a buncha Muskoka and Mill St. beers, some wine and stuff, and an evening food menu of elevated microwavable tapas. Can you say truffle mac ‘n cheese, son?

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This mac daddy muffin is nice and creamy, with some crunchy breadcrumbs and a healthy dose of truffle oil. You can definitely taste the richness in this dish, which sells for $6.95. Of course, it’s really just a snack-sized portion, unless you’re a six-year-old, so I went with some bacon-wrapped dates to boot!

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Now, I don’t always eat fruit, but when I do, I make it wrapped in bacon. Dude, you totally taste more bacon than date here. Served up warm and on a stick, and with some chocolate sauce for dipping, this dish combines three of my favourite things: bacon, chocolate and oversized toothpicks. And you get four for about the price of a beer!

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I’d say five bucks for a Muskoka Winterweiss is fairly reasonable—it’s pretty much a half-pint. And I don’t mind that they serve it in a glass, but they kinda need to work on their pouring skills, cuz my beer was as flat as that Canada Dry that’s been sitting in the back of the fridge since 2002. Maybe next time I’ll ask for extra foam? 😉