Monday, June 6, 2011

Who Needs Starbucks? Three Cheers to Ledcafé!

(or, “Fun in the Remote Highlands of New Guinea,” Vol. 10)
“Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.  Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away?  Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came.  You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”
In the great Aussie tradition, I hereby offer the standard three cheers to a great Ukarumpa institution … Ledcafé.
Hip hip … HOORAY!  Hip hip … HOORAY!   Hip hip … HOORAY!
This is not your local Starbucks. 
Ledcafé, open on select Saturday mornings, does, however, fulfill the coffee-shop cravings of many local expat residents.  Because it’s a small community, Ledcafé is actually a place where everybody generally does know your name.  (Sorry, no anonymity here.)
And yes, they’re always glad you came.  :)
Unfortunately, the proprietors of this fine establishment will be going on furlough in a few very short months.  So, if you want your coffee, your mocha, your cappuccino … your espresso or latte (hot or iced) … your hot chocolate … or any of the above with a flavor shot such as raspberry or cherry (or not, depending on availability), you’d better act fast.
Specials of the week have included such delights as “Fruited Pumpkin Muffins with Sultanas and Pecans,” “Danish Puff with Almonds,” “Strawberry Swirl Coffee Cake,” “Double Chocolate Almond Biscotti,” “Very Lemony Poppy Seed Muffins,” “Carrot-Apple-Raisin-Nut Oat Bran Muffins,” “Pennsylvania Dutch Crumb Coffee Cake,” “Cranberry-Orange Nut Muffins with Streusel,” …..
I’d better stop.  I’m getting drool all over my keyboard.
We watch our money, so Ledcafé is a treat, not a routine.  Therefore, I can’t vouch for the delectableness of most of the above-mentioned specials, but I will say the Frosted Strawberry Bread they had a couple weeks ago was a perfectly moist slab of sweet, fruity deliciousness.
(I just used that phraseology in an email to try to weasel the recipe out of the bakeress.  Clever, huh?)
In addition to special-of-the-week baked treats, Chocolate Chip Scones are a menu standard, along with cooked-to-order eggs, several varieties of oatmeal, a breakfast burrito (“Breakfast Burrito includes scrambled eggs with your choice of onions, green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, sausage and/or cheese, all encased in a flour tortilla. Salsa available upon request”), and the Danish Garden, an “oven baked pancake with broccoli, green peppers, red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese.”
(Seriously now …  I’m ruining the computer.)
You know, even if the offerings at Ledcafé weren’t fundamentally luscious, just not having to cook for yourself is alone worth the money.  The people who run the coffee shop (in their kitchen, living room, and veranda, incidentally), don’t do it to make a profit, nor is this their primary job here (one spouse works in publicity and communications, and the other runs a whole department.)  They do this as a ministry to the community.
And a ministry it is.
When we arrived a couple weeks ago, there was one couple sitting at the dining table enjoying their hot drinks and chatting.  A single gal was curled up on the sofa reading her Bible.
Soon, the room was filled with people.  Several other single gals joined the first and, between them, ordered a variety of menu items.  A father and young daughter on a “date.”  A mother and daughter just hanging out together, basking in the beautiful highlands weather over hot chocolate and scones.
All enjoying this unique opportunity to have fun in the remote highlands of New Guinea.

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(Updated 13 April 2013)