Tuesday, February 02, 2010

For the Love of Starbucks

Although I am a huge aficionado of Starbucks, I will be the first to admit that some Starbucks absolutely suck. (For example, most Starbucks located in suburban strip malls, not unlike the malls in which they are located, are horrendous.)

On the other hand, certain Starbucks are a cut above the rest and deserve to be recognized as such. Among those are this little gem I was oh so happy to stumble upon just around the corner from where I am staying in San Antonio. (Truth be told, I didn't stumble upon it; I asked for directions at the hotel's front desk.)

Given the architecture and outside covered roof deck with a view of the River Walk, I loved the place before I even walked in. It was an added bonus that they got my drink right, a feat that, sadly, not every Starbucks achieves despite the utter simplicity of my standard order: venti, non-fat, no foam latte. (Starbucks baristas seem to have difficulty preparing minimal-to-no-foam lattes even when I request no foam.) Numerous additional visits are planned during my stay in San Antonio.





Update on 2/4/2010: I have now visited all three Starbucks in downtown San Antonio and can report that the other two are of the absolutely suck variety.

The one in the Marriott is most likely a pseudo Starbucks which carries the Starbucks name but is really run by Marriott. A large latte there costs $4.76 (including tax)! That's about a buck higher than the prices at the other San Antonio Starbucks, not to mention higher than NYC prices. WTF?

The one in the Rivercenter Mall gets a low rating because 1) it is located in a crappy mall, and 2) the barista there gave me a 'no foam' latte with oodles of foam and then copped an attitude when I asked (without even going all bitchy on his ass) for the foam to be removed. Also, what the hell is up with hording the milk behind the counter rather than leaving it on the counter? Perhaps that's to prevent homeless folks from fortifying themselves with calcium and vitamin D, but it's very non-typical of Starbucks and me no like.

Thank goodness the one pictured above (on West Crockett Street) has continued to please during several return visits, or I might have to cut my San Antonio visit short.

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