Gregorys Coffee in New York are very cheeky. When they saw my Starbucks mug they pointed it out to me, and then after I left, I noticed the cheeky buggers had put a Gregory's sticker on my mug. Outrageous. Love it! Good for them. How can your company breed that kind of brand-pride amongst its employees?
They're the yin to Starbucks yang. They've effectively looked at the flaws in Starbucks business and out-Starbucked them. Here's the main things I've noticed.
Starbucks: Long line. Wait, kick heels, feel slightly neglected.
Gregory's: Long line, but crazy fast service. Within 5 seconds of walking in the door someone has taken my order. Definitely not feeling at all neglected here, and the people are a little more perky and happy, and enjoying the busy-ness.
Starbucks: Consistently good.
Gregorys: Consistently great!
Look n Feel
Starbucks: Green and brown. Armchairs, wood chairs.
Gregorys: Gray, dark purple, black, bright lights. Benches and steel chairs. Not necessarily better, just a contrast to Starbucks.
Starbucks: Sometimes a little tired.
Gregorys: They seem a bit more involved, fun and irreverant.
Starbucks: Caged, refrigerated and packaged.
Gregorys: Fresh baked, not packaged or refrigerated. The one on 46th Avenue and 5th even has a bakery in the back...
Here's an example of how Gregory's one-ups employee morale. Over Valentines they ran a promotion. Bring in a Valentines card or gift for the baristas, and get a free coffee. Showing the love. Nice!
Gregorys tagline is we 'see coffee differently.' I think they do.
Bacchus is the best deal in Mdina. We passed by this restaurant when we took a guided tour of Malta which included Mdina, back in May 2008. It was built in 1650 but the outer walls date back 2000 years. The food was great and the house wine mediocre. The surroundings were very much in keeping with the entire feel of Mdina. Dark, old, quite and underground. We had two appetizers which were more than enough food for us, a bottle of wine and a tea and the bill came to less than 30 Euro all in.
Tatitas is in San Lawrenz about 10 minutes walk from the Kempinski hotel in Gozo. In the summer Tatitas is swarming with people and up to 100 seats are set up outside right in the church square. Off season we were one of three sets of diners for our Sunday lunch. the manager served us directly and the service was faultless and excellent. Our guidebook ranks Lt-Tmun as superior to Tatitas but we beg to differ. Prices were comparable but the seafood was clearly better. I had the special with a local fish that I forget the name of and Irena had the calamari. Both were beyond excellent. We didn't realize calamari could taste so good. We toasted through a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot, enjoyed a dessert of home made apple pie and finished withvtwo cappacinos for a bill of 100 euro all in. Our weekend escape was almost complete after visiting Tatitas. Now on to Mdina.
We took in our first Gozo island meal at the Lt-Tmun Victoria Lounge
in Victoria ana Rabbat, the capital of Gozo, in the middle of the
island. the service was good, the food very good and the surroundings
relaxing and homely. My sea
bass was a let down for being a tad bland. Irenas veal was just
perfect. She later admitted to me that she had pointed at something
else on the menu and that she didn't actually like veal, until this
meal. Now she likes veal. All in all, four stars.
Green tea just feels better then other teas. It feels great drinking it,
especially as part of a ritual, and it leaves you feeling even better
afterwards, unlike coffee. ...In fact Tokyo, all round, just feels better.
We love Tokyo. The food, the people, the entire experience was as close to
utopia as we've come yet.
If ever you're in Shanghai, treat yourself to a night at the Jinmao Tower
Hyatt Regency. It's the highest hotel in the world. Here we are on the 76th
floor. We'd planned on checking in and then hitting the clubs, but the view
was so incredible we just spent half an hour ogling out of the window, and
then decided to have dinner in the room. If ever a hotel room could offer a
life changing experience, this is it. Our favorite hotel in the world, so