I hadn’t planned on walking home this morning but the torrential downpour that was last nights precipitation forced me to to couch it out at a friend’s place. Not that I’m averse to getting wet but why bother. Anywho, there was I perambulating meself up Lygon street across from the ol’ cemetery in North Carlton when a thought came to my sleepy mind, how about some fluffy buttery croissanty goodness from Filou’s bakery? Well, I seldom have to ask myself that question twice, if ever at all. So off I went with a renewed interest in the benefits of early morning walks and could see Filou’s brightly coloured shop front a couple o’ hundred yards up the road. They do a lovely pain au chocolate and their croissants are always extremely edible, however they do fall down on the quality of their coffee and the speed of service. The young francophones on counter duty are always charming and willing to put up with my school boy french conversational skills while they commit untold crimes against coffee.
I was half considering jumping on an approaching tram but the lure of french flaky pastry was too strong to resist. The tram stopped, a few passengers disembarked and then the driver, of Indian appearance, got off and paced it across the road and into Filou’s. I started to think what he might be buying and sympathised with the passengers if he was ordering a coffee, they’d be waiting awhile sitting there looking at dead people in the cemetery. Then out the driver popped with a brown paper bag of which I could see the point of a croissant peeping out. A moment later the tram took off and I ventured in to the shop with thoughts of hip foodie tram drivers rattling round my head.
Stupidly I asked for a latte with ‘one’ along with a ‘pain au chocolate’ and a ‘croissant’. After a few moments I had a bag full of happiness and a cup of joe to go in my hands but there was something missing… I must have impressed or distracted the young ‘fille’ behind the counter with my ‘parlez vous francais’ routine because she forgot to sugar my coffee. I pointed out this oversight which had her a wee bit flustered because she did a very unusual thing. She took off the lid, dropped in a teaspoon of brown sugar crystals and then placed the lid back on. I’m not a big fan of unstirred sweetened coffee but hey I wasn’t going to let it spoil my breakfast. It did spoil my breakfast. The coffee was ‘trop chaud’ and tasted like ‘merde’.
I started to think of the happy tram driver munching on golden flaky pastry. I wondered does he do this all the time or only on Saturday mornings? Are there other shops that he stops in at while the passengers play Kandy Krush and Angry Birds? Do they even notice their gastronomically influenced abandonment? What would head office say?