Tuesday

Jones the grocer - maybe timing is the answer

Right, given that the last post was sooo well received (there’s only a hint of sarcasm in that comment, the email was divided between me being bias - both for and against) AND because I dearly want this place to succeed, as becoming a full time tea drinker is becoming more and more a reality, I decided to head back to Jones the Grocer.

This time opting for a time that was away from the crazy lunch hour fest that was on during the last visit.

As my mate Line was talking to me again (we had some tense times due to my assertions in previous posts that she is, at heart, a great big liar), and was herself significantly under-whelmed by the coffee in Abu Dhabi, we agreed on a time to grab a beverage (and maybe a cake).

Then Line cancelled.

SO, we arranged a new time - which she managed to not cancel and I picked her up at the standard spot.
Line got in the truckster, said “Hello” then backed up with:
“You DO know where we are going, don’t you?” Smirking as she secured her seat belt.
“That’s how it’s going to be is it?”
“What?” said Line, affecting a look of innocence.

Now to say that we did in fact get lost on the way to Jones would be an over statement. To say that some incorrect turns were taken may be a little closer to the truth. In defence though, I knew where it was, and how to get there - from MY apartment. Not Line’s.

I’d also like to point out at this juncture that while less than perfect directional choices MAY have been made, each resulting street was still familiar, thus creating a more scenic path to our afternoon’s activity.
In only slightly longer time than was originally expected we arrived, and I managed to maintain my 2 from 2 ‘rock-star’ parking record.

For those not in the know, to park like a rock star one must drive to one’s destination, and without having to wait for someone to leave, park immediately out front of said establishment. Thus far, 2 visits, and with a combined walking distance of less than 30 metres from car to front door, I’m strutting to the tune of Stayin’ Alive just thinking about it.

On the inside.

Fair to say that I was a little scathing in the previous post about this great establishment. Not without reason I might add. The solution for those wishing to miss all the havoc (as funny as it was) is to simply go later in the afternoon.

Line and I strolled in to a much quieter café than on the last trip. Strangely though we elected to sit in at the very same table that my hardworking wife and I sat at… perhaps subconsciously drawn to the same table to make sure that all the variables could be accounted for by making the experience as similar as possible.
OR - perhaps it’s just because Line unknowingly suggested we sit at that table, and I couldn’t find a reason not to.

The service (due to lack of customer numbers I suspect) was great. Fast, efficient, friendly (not that they weren’t friendly before… they just lacked the flustered ‘chasing tail’ look this time).
The coffee however was superb. Extraordinarily good. So were the cakes that arrived at just the right time.
I decided to throw caution to the wind and order what has been even more elusive than a latte here in this pile o’ sand.
 
A macchiato.

To refresh your memories as to how wrong a coffee shop can get a macchiato here - feel free to go to the contents page (over there in the categories list) and select ‘Idioms’ from the section marked ‘The coffee project’ - or don‘t, it‘s your dime…

…I ordered then distractedly went on with the conversation, I think we had moved on to the topic of cheese, or Norwegian moonshine, while waiting for my macchiato.

It arrived, again in good time.

I rarely say this about coffee anywhere BUT - it was perfect, well nearly - but any criticism that I could level would only be appreciated by the true geeks among you (for those really interested in the level of my coffee/macchiato affliction who may have similar interests themselves, I’m simply going to say ‘foam’ and ‘a weeny bit too much’). For those who have lives and more interesting things to consider like, well, ANYTHING else, please strike the information in parenthesis from the record.

With me savouring the first real macchiato I have had in a long time, Line spied bottles of water in the large display cabinet behind me, and was immediately up and on her way over to inspect. Turns out that it’s Norwegian water - (Line is from Norway) .

I began to wax lyrical about the connection to her homeland via the fluid in bottles stacked 4 deep on a shelf in an Abu Dhabi coffee shop, and how nice it must be etc.

She indulged me as I banged on about distance, and hands of her kin folk etc.

Once she figured I had got it out of my system, she said “Yes, very nice. It’s actually made by hill billies you know”.

Then went on in a manner that I took to mean that it’s a good thing they do, because if the folk living in the region this stuff was coming from weren’t bottling water, they wouldn’t have much else to do, (bar chowing down on whale of course).

Product of a hillbilly or not, she still grabbed 2 large bottles of the stuff to take with her after we had done our lap of the shelves…

What I haven’t mentioned thus far is that JtG ain’t just a coffee/breaky/lunch spot. It sells all manner of stuff - homemade ice-cream, nougat, coffee machines, preserves, and a whole bunch of other gear, worth a visit just for that.

What is also worth visiting is the cheese room.

Yes.

ROOM.

Line and I went and inspected the room o’ cheese during our walk of the perimeter, and were met inside it’s refrigerated wonderment by someone I am just going to have to call ‘The Cheese Guy‘.

This guardian of the cheese safe proceeded to make a couple of jokes about cheese, asked us where we were from and was just generally funny - a nice change to the stern/forced politeness of other venues - not that any other venues have a cheese room of course, but maybe it was the spores from the blue cheese that helped make him so happy. Maybe we looked like 6 foot Wookies and he was passing the time in order to stop himself from freaking out… whatever the case, it was good, and the selection is ace.

Nothing else to say, other than I hope that Jones the Grocer Abu Dhabi is able to rock that sort of service, or at least similar during the busy times.

The quality of the product though is 1st class.

Give it a try, and order a macchiato - it’s great.

5 comments:

  1. Chewing down on whale; "The Cheese Guy" (reminded me I haven't seen "Cheese Man" at the gym lately); and love the whole coffee theme...but what the hell is a "macchiato"????

    13/10/2009

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  2. Nope.. 'Chowing' was the word I was after.

    If he's not at gym, there might be a reason.... he's here.

    In a refrigerator, getting wasted on blue cheese spores.

    Not answering the last bit.

    :-p

    ReplyDelete
  3. now come on Drew we all know you'd love to explain the finer details of a "macchiato" :P


    And let me just add the Norwegian water was lovely, according to hubby it's the best water he ever had, so there.

    Also if anyone from Voss has read this I apologise for calling you all rednecks, the norwegian word Bønder is probably more accurate, although not more flattering :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. K. Kimatrai17:12

    I was in UAE recently and had the opportunity of having lunch at Jones The Grocer. It was a great experience with food to match. There were 8 of us and we each ordered something different. There wasn't a single complaint at the table. The staff was very friendly and helpful in suggesting menu items. I ordered the hamburger and was amazed at the taste. Best I have ever had. I am not a big fan of cheese, but my associates commented on the excellent selection and most of them bought some to take home.I highly recommend this restaurant. Keep up the good work.

    K. Kimatrai
    Canada

    01/05/2010

    ReplyDelete
  5. The above comment brought to you by the good folk at Jones the Grocer...

    ReplyDelete

Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

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