First Taste

Charmed in Four Bites at Carmel's Coffee & Bakery

After Pavle Milic's tantalizing photo of Carmel's egg sandwich made its rounds on Twitter, we had to try one for ourselves. 

When I step into the latest (caffeine) buzz in Arcadia, Pat, the owner, peeks his head out from behind the kitchen and wipes his hands off to formally greet my "Laker Hater" shirt. We chat about the playoffs and the demise of the Phoenix Suns after trading every good player we've ever had from Amare Stoudemire on to beloved Goran Dragic. 

Despite his customer's venomous spite for Pat's beloved basketball team, he was as charming and genuine as the cottage housing his coffee shop. As I chatted with Pat, my eyes began to wander, spying eclectic tables for two with Herman Miller chairs, whimsical art of embroidered one dollar bills, a prominently displayed La Marzocco two-group espresso machine and a small chalkboard menu the size of our laptop.

I got down to it and ordered the egg sandwich written in chalk as today's special. Actually, it happens to be the only menu item at the moment. Which makes ordering the egg sandwich beyond mandatory -- like obligatory -- at least until this Saturday. Pat has got some new menu items in the works, covering all the basic food groups: sweet, sea, veg and bacon.

In the brief moments it takes Pat to share his new menu ideas, my egg sandwich hits the counter, the simplest of breakfast sandwiches: croissant, egg, bacon. The egg is over easy. Just like I like it. The croissant is classic. The seasoning doesn't get any more basic than a little S&P. Lastly but most certainly not least, the bacon is thin and crispy, twofold. 

I loved all four bites of it, and maybe secretly licked the croissant butter from my fingers. However, come Saturday, my eyes will be set on the croissant french toast. That's right. CROISSANT french toast. No stale white bread here. As a matter of fact, all breads served at Carmel's are from some well known local baker. Ever heard of MJ's? No big deal or anything.

Rounding out the rest of the menu will be a tuna sandwich, portobello mushroom sandwich, freshly made quiche, and a fresh green salad. Hopefully they still have the receipt for the itty bitty chalkboard. Gonna need an upgrade.

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Nicole Whittington