Thursday, October 18, 2012


7959 Broadway
(in the back of the shopping center at Sunset)

The atmosphere in this coffee shop brings to mind huarache sandals and folk music. None of those things were in evidence when I visited with my friend Rick the other morning. We found instead a more-or-less ordinary new-age coffee shop with all the usual drinks available, plus a short menu of light, interesting-sounding foods, all variations on the tamale, including vegetarian and vegan options for those who like to talk about their food choices at length to uninterested listeners.*

The woman at the counter was extremely polite, explaining what she was doing in great detail as she entered our orders in her high-tech system. While the technology is still new enough (to me) to excite some mild curiosity, I could frankly care less about what buttons she was pushing, or why; as a customer, my interest extended no farther than hearing my order repeated back to me correctly (as it eventually was) and the correct charge assessed (as it was, in the end). I suspect she was talking as much to herself as to me, but the entire experience was more like a lesson, and one being given to a particularly slow group of third-graders. 

no city inspection listed
The coffee we both ordered took a remarkably long time to arrive, considering that what we had ordered was just plain ol' coffee. Turns out they don't have a pot of plain ol' coffee sitting ready; she had to brew it, and when it came she told us that if we wanted more, we could just let her know and she'd brew us each another cup. They must not get a lot of orders for, you know, regular ol' coffee.

I can't say I'm surprised, since it was assuredly not something I would want a second cup of. But then, my taste in coffees tends towards the weaker end of the spectrum than is popular in the Starbucks Era. I don't like coffee that dissolves utensils, though that seems to be what drives the market.

The food we ordered was certainly interesting. I chose a tamale filled with pork al pastor. Though it was not as big as I'd been led to believe in conversation at the counter ("about the size of a burrito," I'd been told), it was large enough to satisfy an unusually modest appetite. The masa was excellent, as was the filling, with a reasonable amount of meat in an adobo seasoning. The tamale was wrapped in corn husks and served on a small wooden platter. 

Rick chose a tamale of beef tinga, a sort of carne machacado wrapped in banana leaves. As the waitress put the platter down, she cautioned him that the dish was very hot. The masa on his much larger tamale was lighter and moister than on the tamale al pastor. Surprisingly, given the waitress's warning, we found that the filling of the tamale was still frigid. Having been reheated in the microwave at the back of the restaurant, the outside was steaming while the inside was nearly unaffected. Still, the flavour was reasonably good, though I think we both considered sending it back for another zapping. In the end, we didn't bother.

The utensils used at Revolucion are made of wood. Cheap wood. The first few bites, until the fork gets wet from your saliva, are kind of like licking a dry popsicle stick. Distinctly unpleasant. After the fork gets moistened, it's not so bad, but I'd have been happier if they'd spring for some eco-unfriendly plastic, or maybe some genuine metal. 

Coffee shops like this cater, naturally, to people in the local area; few customers are going to cross more than a mile or two of city to reach a place and make it their hangout; I certainly am not going to go back to Revolucion on a regular basis; and frankly, given the mediocrity of the food and strength of the drink, I probably will not go back even when I'm out that way. 
* as distinct from those of us who prefer to write about it. You don't have to read what I write, but too often you have to listen to what people insist on saying.


  1. I think this review is really harsh. It's a coffee and juice shoppe and you nitpicked the smallest things things instead of writing about the actual food or drinks themselves. The name of the establishment is "Revolution Coffee and Juice" and you chose to review the tamales which aren't even on their menu but a side menu. The small reminiscence of the review you did choose to attribute to Coffee, you complained about the coffee not coming out of a coffee pot. I've never heard anyone complain about "fresh" coffee which is what you were getting. I would rather wait 4 minutes for coffee and get it fresh then get coffee out of a pot that might have been cold or even worse, hours old. The fact that you wrote that you enjoy weaker coffee shows your lack of pallet for coffee, which intrigues me how you think you can review something with no pallet for. Did you even try their juice that bring in the most customers? I'm a fellow proprietor of an establishment, and a customer of Revolution and I think if a blogger is going to leave reviews for an establishment that they should research the establishment and give a good review on it, be it good or bad.

    1. Hogwash. Reviewers should write about their experience. Publicists should research the establishment.


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