I’d been holed up in Port Sloan for so long waiting for clear passage that my sea legs shriveled up like salted slugs and my mind started to feel like a drunken boatswain had tied my brain stem in a clove hitch. Any good sailor knows when you get a case of the galley grumps, it’s best to take stock, set goals and recalibrate the old brain compass.
As I started upon drafting a list of provisions needed for my spring voyage, the tip on my very last quill ink pen snapped off as I emphatically scrawled “Need More Supply Boxes!” By the fortune of Poseidon’s beard, I happened to recall overhearing a rather scantily clad scullery maid effusing about a shop she thought particularly delightful a fortnight prior at the Lakeview Lounge. So the next morning (with such determination and focus you would have thought the sirens themselves were lilting in my AirPods!) I set course down 38th Avenue to procure some provisions at the merchant known as Stylus & Crate (6985 W. 38th Ave., Suite 101).
Before I had even set agaze the sign in my spyglass, I was overcome by the fresh smell of coffee rich as the ocean breeze. I opened the merchant’s door and walked in, feeling a touch squiffy as I gazed around the shop and saw nary a quill pen, cargo crate or even a whiskey cask in sight. And then I saw it: a display of waffles, golden and crispy like a sunrise on the horizon after a cloudburst.
As I approached the counter, I was greeted by a kindly fellow named Tadd. The gentle proprietor had a smile as warm as the sun and a twinkle in his eye like the stars above. He told me all about his shop, how he’d started it with his own two hands, and how he took pride in every curated and delicately roasted coffee bean, every expertly brewed ounce of espresso, and every scratch-made waffle he served.
I couldn’t resist. I ordered a French-pressed cup of Tadd’s finest Ethiopian beans and a waffle and, let me tell ye, they were like nothing I’d ever tasted before. The coffee was rich and smooth, with a flavor as deep as the ocean, and the waffle crispy yet fluffy, like a sail billowing in the wind.
As I savored the delicate coffee and me waffle, I chatted with Tadd about the sea and the weather and the adventures we’d both had. It was like we were old friends, reunited after a long voyage. And when it was time for me to go, Tadd sent me off with a hearty handshake and a wish for fair winds and following seas.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. A salty sea captain like me, recommending a shop that sells coffee and waffles? It might seem strange, but let me tell ye, sometimes the most unexpected places can bring the greatest joy. So if you’re ever in port and in need of a warm cup of coffee or a tasty treat, I highly recommend a visit to Stylus and Crate. You never know what treasures you might find there.
Wishing you bold sips and seaworthy ships, The Captain.