Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Gotta Run!

Yep, that's me...

After reading Christopher McDougall's Born To Run (which I reviewed here), and Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, I have been harboring a hankering to run more regularly.

Now, I'm finally getting around to making it a regular part of my weekly routine, with a couple of personal twists.

First, I run in flat-soled Converse All-Stars, not the heavily-padded, shock-absorbing running shoes that most people wear. Second, I run at a quite leisurely pace, often slowing to a brisk walk as I get tired, focusing more on the amount of time I spend running rather than on distance or speed.

This way of running is inspired both by Born to Run and by the recognition that I'm at an age where the stress of training can lead to lasting damage to my body. After all, the only real race I'm in is with myself, right? I'm doing all this to both feel better and enjoy myself, and I want to minimize the risk of injury.

This Discovery Channel segment provides some compelling evidence for why I'm running the way I'm running:

So, what do you think? Am I on to something, or is this just a wild goose chase?

In the meantime, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing until I know better.

Today's Eye-Opener: KD Donuts at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

In these health-conscious, anti-sugary times, I know it's gauche to advocate decadent treats, but sometimes you just need a donut.

And these donuts, from KD Donuts & Kolaches, are amazing, particularly those dark, luscious blueberry cake donuts on the right. Rich with flavor, with a moist, succulent texture, these blueberry cake donuts even outshine the maple glazed donuts that are always a crowd favorite. And what better way to accompany a cup of coffee?

These donuts are available daily at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop, but supplies are limited. Come early for the best selection!

Stay caffeinated, friends.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Today's Eye-Opener: a Double-Shot of Espresso from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

Using the Redwall espresso blend from Colorado River Coffee Roasters, we did a 40-second pull for an ounce-and-a-half of liquid extracted from 21 grams of ground beans.

It got my heart started. I might make it through the day!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

While Supplies Last: the El Jefe Burrito by TastyBunz at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

We just received a batch of El Jefe burritos from TastyBunz!

A giant food missile filled with chorizo, cheese, bacon, onion, potato, and spicy ranch sauce, this thing is hearty, delicious, and in limited supply.

Get it while you can at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop!

Today's Eye-Opener: A Mug of El Salvadoran from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

Sometimes, especially on a cool, blustery morning in the Las Vegas valley, it's best to go with the basics.

So, instead of a latte or a cappuccino, I poured myself a mug of freshly-brewed El Salvadoran El Toreador coffee.

Imported & roasted by Colorado River Coffee Roasters, this coffee is medium-bodied, with a bright flavor that needs no sweetener or cream.

We have a limited supply of this coffee at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop after having carried it since we opened. Once we're out, we'll be switching to other American coffees like Brazilian or Guatamalan.

In the meantime, come enjoy a cup of El Salvadoran with me this morning. You won't regret it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today's Refreshment: The Colada Smoothie from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

Featuring coconut syrup and pineapple chunks blended with a colada base, this smoothie is one shot of rum away from the perfect boat drink.

It's hot outside, and you need some cold, sweet refreshment.

Come get this.

Available now from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop.

The Game Shelf at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

At Grouchy John's Coffee Shop, we encourage you to make yourself comfortable and enjoy your time with us.

To this end, we provide a wide selection of games for you to play as you sip (or guzzle) your caffeinated happiness.

Popular selections include Scrabble & Scattergories, although we've hosted some cutthroat bouts of Monopoly and Chess. One epic game of Trivial Pursuit last an entire afternoon and ended only because we had to close for the night!

So come on down, get a drink, and, in the immortal words of WOPR, "Shall we play a game?"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

OFF-MENU GOODNESS: The Vincent Vega from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

Behold (though it's hard because of the crappy camera on my Iphone) the newest off-menu goodness available at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop: the Vincent Vega!

Suggested by a customer of our trailer and then blatantly stolen from the Mission Coffee Cup in La Jolla, this beverage (whose relationship to John Travolta's character in Pulp Fiction is obliquely thematic at best) has a unique flavor profile that frankly isn't for everyone.

We begin with a cup full of ice, add shots of vanilla syrup and half-and-half, and then pour in a shot of espresso. A can of Coca-Cola is opened and gently decanted into this conglomeration, and we must take care not to allow the volatile meeting of soda & espresso to erupt into a foam-over. Instead, by controlling the rate of introduction of the cola, we create a nice layer of root-beer-float-like foam atop the drink, roughly the consistency of sea-foam.

Once the cup is full, a single stir of the beverage allows the constituent fluids to mix so that each sip (either by straw or not) embodies the essential paradox at the heart of the Vincent Vega: that the espresso & the cola never fully integrate. Instead, on the tongue, the dark heaviness of the espresso sits alongside syrupy sweetness of the cola, creating an at-first bewildering sensation that soon coalesces into a taste that is not altogether unpleasant.

It's not for everyone, and we won't always have it available, so get it while you can to find out if you're someone who wants it.


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Humble Beginnings of Grouchy John's Coffee

That's right: this is how it all started, with a table under a canopy by the side of the road at First Friday in downtown Las Vegas.

We didn't even have a name!

Notice the hand-painted sign and the tiny espresso machine. All we offered were cups of coffee and lattes. No smoothies or frappes. Also, our flavor selection was rather limited. And check out the Mr. Coffee coffeemaker!

We've got a long way to go, but we've come a long way already.

Today's Eye-Opener: nonfat Iced Mocha with foam from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

This drink was suggested by Graham, who swears by it.

Smooth, sweet & cool, with a nice layer of foam that adds a pleasing texture to every sip, this is a civilized -- but not too decadent -- way to start the week.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

NEW ART: "Wanted" by Tommy Vinci on display at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

This painting, entitled "Wanted," is by local artist Tommy Vinci, and it replaces a painting he just sold right off the walls of Grouchy John's Coffee Shop.

See, even with art, you can GO LOCAL!

Look What Kyle Made for Grouchy John's Coffee Shop!

Kyle & Ilene are so cool. We just aren't worthy of their esteem & generosity, though we're very grateful for the gift! Expect to see it hanging prominently in Grouchy John's Coffee Shop. There's nothing sweeter than when people return the love...

Drinks of the Day: Mocha & Caramel Frappes from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

What better way to refresh yourself on a hot day than with a drink that combines coldness, sweetness, and caffeine?

And at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop, our 2 most popular frappes are the Mocha & the Caramel, each of which packs enough flavor to stop an elephant.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Coolness of the Day: Almond Cookie Iced Tea from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

On a hot day, nothing picks you up like a cold drink.

And the drink above, in the frosted cup, is an Almond Cookie iced tea, which owes its remarkable color to the inclusion of beetroot in the tea blend (which we get from Joy's Teaspoon). Other ingredients include pieces of almond & apple, as well as cinnamon.

It's cool, naturally-sweet, and decaffeinated, and it's just one of the teas we offer -- iced or hot -- at Grouchy John's Coffee Shop.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today's Eye-Opener: The Mint Mocha Frappe from Grouchy John's Coffee Shop

On days like today, when it's going to hit triple-digits in the Las Vegas valley, you'll want something cold, sweet & caffeinated to keep your spirits up and your temperature down.

This mint mocha frappe is just the thing!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This Story Totally Happened

Last night, during our regular crimefighting spree across the western U.S., I watched my man Ray (AKA "The Ubiquity") save the world from not one, but TWO alien invasions (although the second one doesn't really count since it was just a virus-infected meteor that he sprayed with Lysol). He also stopped a suicide bomber from blowing up the Staples Center by talking him into unstrapping the bomb and joining the Salvation Army. Then he single-handedly broke up a turf battle in Arizona between heavily-armed rival motorcycle gangs with the Mentos-in-Diet-Coke trick and a few classic stand-up jokes. The only real fight he got into was with an overweight security guard, who, after stumbling upon us performing an ancient incantation in order to pacify the spirits who were haunting a no-kill animal shelter in Utah, tried to detain The Ubiquity for trespassing. You just haven't lived until you've seen Ray shake off a Taser burst to deliver a flying sternum kick to a rent-a-cop who won't listen to reason! Though the rent-a-cop wouldn't go down easy (by dint of his sheer girth), Ray eventually dropped him with a 3-Stooges dope-slap and a Vulcan nerve-pinch.

We finished the night off with breakfast burritos at this all-night taco place over on Charleston, after which The Ubiquity dropped me off at my coffee-shop and zoomed off in his cold-fusion-powered jet-dirigible to his regular life in Oregon.

And who am I?

I am Ray's proud, steadfast sidekick: The Insomniac!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Snapshot of the Day: "Tiki" by Tommy Vinci

Tommy Vinci has hung another masterpiece in Grouchy John's Coffee Shop! Come check it out, as well as all the other art we have for sale!

And, remember, for both your caffeine & aesthetic needs, GO LOCAL!