El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino

“Hello, sir! How are you?”

The upward inflections used when she said “sir” and “you” made me realize that this person was a bit too happy for 8 AM.

“While you wait, would you care to try a sample of our new Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino?”

At 8 AM, I don’t think there is anything that I want less than a Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino. I close my eyes, but my lips together and shake my head politely.

While the woman in front of me was giving her thirteen word coffee order, I took a moment to look around the new surroundings. There were couches. A guy was on the Internet. A spectacled couple was reading the newspaper silently at a wheelchair accessible table. The walls were an orange yellow color. The music was some kind of ethnic. Starbucks has arrived to Columbia Heights. Mi barrio has a Starbucks Coffee.

I’ve been to Starbucks before. I like their coffee, but it was just a little unnerving to see a Starbucks coffee in mi barrio.

I grabbed part of the newspaper when the spectacled couple wasn’t looking and began to read about how important it is to have friends in high places. Then I was distracted by another friendly young lady asking me if I would like to try what I believe was a “bunt cake” and then was offered another tasty sample of a Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino. I don't even know what a "bunt cake" is. I don't trust any food that ends in unt...

Never in all of my life have I come across such friendly Starbucks employees in DC. They were smiling. It made me wonder how long until they became bitter and stopped smiling.

Mi barrio, my neighborhood, is changing. The addition of the Starbucks has some people excited about the changes in the neighborhood. After all, crack isn’t usually dealt in front of a Starbucks. This is great. I don’t like to watch crack being dealt when I drink my coffee.

Then I realized that the employees were so friendly. I mean REALLY friendly. Friendlier than any other coffee franchise employee that this Guatemalan has ever seen. Was it something in the air of Columbia Heights that made them this way? No. They’re this way because it’s new. The friendliest employees in all of DC Starbucks were probably plucked to get the neighborhood excited about this new genericification of the neighborhood.

I fear, that in time, these employees will stop feeling the excitement of the newness and result to being the indifferent employees of DC Starbucks that I have come to know. Then, I fear that the rest of the neighborhood will lose its flavor along with the free samples of the Raspberry Mocha Frappuccinos.

By the way, I finally had a sample. It tasted like mierda.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo


At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

el guapo, bundt cake is that cake that has a hole in the middle. it tastes better than raspberry whatever....

At 10:16 PM, Blogger ADW said...

Chocolate Lover's Bundt Cake is fanfreakingtastic - I'll have to send you some. But Raspberry frappamochalattachino whatever sounds truly heinous and of course I am not surprised that it tasted like crap.

I would also freak out if I encountered a hyper-friendly Starbuck's employee - I am so used to the mean ones, I would think that they were trying to poison me with their special samples.

I like Panera much better because the internet connections are free and you always know where you stand with the wait staff.

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Restaurant Gal said...

In my son's former college town, there were two coffee places--Starbucks and the indie place started a few years ago by two alums. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the line to get a mocha soy whatever at Starbucks stretched out the door. Few, if any people, were in line at the indie spot. So, I went there every single time I visited my son. And I got the best, freshest coffee I have never yet been served at a Starbucks there or in D.C.

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


i can't stand gentrification. it's depressing.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Girasol said...

I wonder if I go there, they will put a bowl of water on the floor for me. You know hace mucho calor!

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in a mall. In this mall, there is a Starbucks. Every night that I close with the manager, he sends me down to Starbucks.

What does he order?

Raspberry Mocha. Big size.


At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guatemala has better coffee?

At 3:11 AM, Blogger Sophia said...

The BUNDT cake has a hole in the middle...you know, for sticking things in! Go to the Stupid Starbucks and take advantage of the new staff and their extra special manners...next week they will be rolling their eyes at you when you walk in to order your Raspberry blahdy blah blah blah!
p.s. - did you pick your friend up off the floor yet???

At 6:20 AM, Blogger EsLocura said...

A starbucks is about to open in my neck of the words, it scares me, but yet I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. We have great coffee here in Puerto Rico but will the masses fall prey to the evil ways of Starbucks?

At 8:26 AM, Blogger question girl said...

starbucks scares me

At 5:09 PM, Blogger green_canary said...

A Starbucks just opened in my town as well. The employees weren't so much friendly as they were Utterly Clueless. I took it as a sign of what was to come if I kept patronizing their facility and stopped drinking coffee altogether.

At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you not seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Bunt cake has a giant hole in the middle of it!

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live in columbia heights. its not really gentrifying. Its a totally new phenomenon--one i have never seen before.
They are putting in a Best Buy across from the aforementioned Starbucks, we already have a Ruby Tuesday's and yet the transitionary period that marks most gentrification isn't coming. Its like the exurbs meets the ghetto. People are still being gunned down on the street, and in their apartments (home invasions)but there is enough room to install big box stores. No?

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha. i work for starbucks. i have not and will not ever try the raspberry mocha frap. coffee + fruit = gross. try a cinnamon dulce iced latte. i think ud like it more. i promise, not all of our stuff is crap.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Antonella said...

Mira jefe, in Seattle (birthplace of Star$)we have a saying: Friends don't let Friends go to Starbucks. Nuff said.

Restaurant gal, brava to you for going to the Indie coffee shop! Why do the sheep file into that evil place? Baaah.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Moxie said...

Here in LA we have several Magic Johnson Starbucks - apparently he got involved in getting Bux to move into the hood, because they are all in very ghetto-tastic areas. I call one of them the Party Starbucks because there's always a large number of black men in their 50s and 60s sitting around, talking loudly, having a good time.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Mark Williams said...

So sorry to venture into an area of dispute with my very first ever comment on your blog (which I love to read because it makes me chuckle a lot although I do worry that this might be rude of me) but I hate Starbucks coffee and am compeletly mystified as to your endorsement of it. To be fair, I have only ever tried their latte which I think would be more honestly marketed as "tasteless froth". For me a Starbucks sign, along with MacDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a no go area. But that controversy aside, thank you a thousand times for your blog which is always of the highest quality.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous pollosmoky said...

One thing that people fail to realize when they're dissing S'buck's (and I'm no big fan) is that they actually manage to pay their employees a decent wage which is more than can be said for a lot of businesses.


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