I am a coffee shop composer by nature. Since college, I've been going to coffee shops to write just about anything I needed to write (from e-mails to essays)--so much so that I can barely write from home anymore, and when I do, I require the presence of a table, a cup of coffee, and good music, or inspiration will sit stubbornly out of reach and laugh at me.
The trouble with this arrangement is that coffee shops and cafes, while a potentially fabulous muse, are also potentially extremely distracting. To wit: I had something to write about when I walked in Chaco Canyon's door this morning, but was instantly derailed by a cupcake with bright pink frosting. I wasn't planning to have a cupcake for breakfast. (Honest!) But it was just so . . . well, pink.
Chaco Canyon, as a cafe, has made a previous appearance in Allergic to Food. As a destination for sitting, writing, eating, or drinking, it excels. And like many cafes, they keep a rotating list of specials that protects them from customer boredom. Their August menu, just released, features tasty-looking treats such as a Pluot Tart, a Tomato Gazpacho, and the Poppyseed Blackberry Cupcake.
Maybe I'm trying to make myself feel better about eating cake for breakfast, but I argue that "Cupcake" is a misnomer for this one. Yes, it is shaped like a cupcake and yes, it has frosting. But it is barely sweet, with a low-sugar, nutty flavor. Far less sweet than the average poppy-seed muffin, come to think of it. The frosting is Earthbalance-based and colored with blackberry juice, and the overall flavor effect is less like "cupcake" and more like "hearty muffin with margarine on it."
Had I been looking for something sweet and dessert-appropriate, I would have been sorely disappointed. Fortunately, I was looking for breakfast, and accidentally purchased a cupcake, so it worked out nicely. In all honesty, while I was admittedly unimpressed by the flavor of the cupcake and wouldn't choose it again over, say, a banana muffin or other "sanctioned" breakfast food, there are some days when a diet yearns for a splash of color, and the blackberry frosting certainly fulfilled that.
If you've not yet been to Chaco Canyon, it's well worth a visit. It is also additionally convenient now, having two locations: University District, and the recently opened West Seattle store.
If you have been to visit already, I advise stopping by to check out the August Specials menu. Eight out of the 10 items are gluten free. Don't worry, they are not all varying shades of red.