The Best $15 I’ve Spent

…in awhile anyway.

On Friday I got a text from a derby friend of mine inviting me out for a beer/cheese thing at her favorite coffee shop, Krakatoa Cafe on 25th and B Street. I love beer and cheese, and I’d been meaning to talk league stuff with this friend for awhile, so it seemed like a great plan. Sometimes things are a surprise, but the only surprise on Friday was how abso-fantastic-lutely amazing this plan actually was.

The cost for the beer/cheese pairing was $15, not pricey for six tasters of beer and six cheeses. But this–this was so much more. My friend and I were expecting a little plate of cheese, but the plate we received came decked out with all sorts of accoutrements, like two kinds of bread, olives, a spicy apple butter, figs, and pickled relish, all surrounding sizeable portions of cheese. Alright we thought.

The event (because it turned out to be much more than just a happy hour special) was mc’d by an event coordinator for the coffee shop, Edwin, and featured a speaker from Venissimo cheese and a beer distributor. All three men were extremely personable, and informative, about their craft. The beer distributor in particular made a lot of friends when he started pouring refills of the “tasters” we were supposed to be getting. He made even more friends at the end of the evening when he set the opened bottles down on the table and said “might as well finish that.”

Did I mention we were basically in a treehouse? We were basically in a treehouse, lit by Christmas lights. At several points, my friend literally raised her arms in the air like we had just won a touchdown. In particular, when they brought out homemade chocolate truffles that were not on the menu, but leftover from a book signing a few days before.

The cafe owner made friends when she brought out leftovers of everything on the cheese plate. “Help yourselves,” she said, so we did, particularly to these homemade bettermade versions of a nature valley bar–crispy with a hint of sweet and a depth of flavor. She won my undying love when she brought out a ziploc bag and said, “take the rest home.”

We sat around the table with other strangers, people who became friends by the end of the evening simply because we were all lucky enough to have discovered the best Friday night in all of San Diego. “Fifteen dollars?” We looked at each other. “We would have paid double.”

Krakatoa, if you ever read this, thanks for an amazing experience. Lately I haven’t found a lot of restaurants to be worth the price, but I can pretty much guarantee I would go to anything they hosted ever again.

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