Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Make Kaldi's Coffee House a High Pointe of Your Day

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Make Kaldi's Coffee House a High Pointe of Your Day

Article excerpt

Kaldi was an Ethiopian goatherd, so legend says, and his goats ran away one day. He followed them, and he found them gathered around a flowering bush, munching beans and dancing with gay abandon. Kaldi tried some of the beans himself, with the same results.

And voila! Coffee, with caffeine, and activity that can be described as "wired," perhaps involving dancing.

That's the source for the name, Kaldi's, of a coffee house, pastry and sandwich spot at 700 DeMun Avenue (727-9955), the very south end of the quiet Clayton street, across from Concordia Park.

Suzanne Langlois and her partners opened last October as an individual coffee house, not a franchise or anything, and business has been quite good - good enough so that they have ordered their own roaster and, pretty soon, will be roasting coffee beans for retail sale. There is a Kaldi's in New Orleans (see Odds and Ends), but it's not related.

Langlois and her fiance, Howard Lerner, are both former newspaper reporters, but Langlois seemed quite happy to swap the drama of political coverage and the chance to interview fascinating people (like me) for dish-washing and sandwich-serving.

Kaldi's is open from early morning to late at night, serving a couple of different vegetarian sandwiches and focaccia, salads, freshly baked cakes and pies, plus a variety of pastries, in addition to latte, cappuccino and coffees and teas of various types.

There are newspapers here and there (once a newspaper person, always a newspaper reader), seats indoors and outdoors, a small counter and a charming atmosphere that reminded me of similar spots in San Francisco during the 1950s and '60s.

The basic coffee is dark and strong, the way I like it, and there was some Vietnamese-style iced coffee one day, that soothing, intriguing, delicious mixture of very dark, very strong coffee and condensed milk, served over ice. …

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