I discovered Frontier Cafe quite by accident about three Fridays back while I was walking around the Pioneer Square area of [Seattle] city. It so happened that I was actually looking for Salumi so I could get one of their famous cured meat sandwhiches. Now Salumi was co-founded by Armandino Batali, who just happens to be Iron Chef Mario Batali’s dad. Now those of you who are pretty familiar with Seattle’s Pioneer Square district know just how confusing the maze of streets are and so the bottom line is that I couldn’t find the place so I decided to go get a falafel sandwich instead.
As I was walking back via a different street, I happened to walk by Frontier Cafe and as you probably know me by now, I couldn’t resist walking in the coffee shop to see what roast they were serving… and even more important, if they had coffee cups with logos that I can add to my collection of coffee cups.
The interesting thing about this place was that it reminded me somewhat of the fish & chips type places I used to frequent back in Nairobi. I think this was because of the seating arrangement which were basically a long table down the middle and high stools for seating. In addition was the fact that the main menu item in the place was barbecue… Because of all this, the coffee felt to me more like a secondary item or an afterthought… and I think I felt that way even more as I was drinking my double tall latte.
If my understanding is correct, they use Stella Coffee beans. I was poking around the Stella Coffee website and just based on what I read there, I would have expected my latte to have been memorable. But even though my latte was not really exceptional, I also know enough to know that there could have been a number of factors that resulted in an ok latte. For one I was really hungry for something solid to eat and not a latte, and it is usually in the morning that I do enjoy drinking lattes on an empty stomach.. Keeping this in mind, I think I will have to go back one more time and try their lattes and see if my experience there turns out to be spectacular. One thing I liked though was that the barista was a really friendly guy, and to me, friendly, engaging baristas always go a long way to making any coffee shop a nice place to visit.
As a side note, I still think its a little bizarre to have this place that in my opinion, feels very much like some modern day BBQ diner place serving espresso…