The death of iced coffee

Today is my final day of writing my upcoming book, Double V: The Vinnie Vincent Saga. To celebrate, I decided to come here to Panera, the place where I’ve done the bulk of my work.

What I love about Panera, besides the wonderful staff, is the iced coffee. It’s rich and plentiful, and there’s always a cooler just waiting to be tapped. Also, Panera kindly offers free refills, which makes me …



Yes, it is true. Upon arriving today, I found a vacant spot where the iced coffee vat once rested. Upon further inquisition, I learned Panera, as a corporation, has discontinued iced coffee. Not enough buyers, and—they say—it’s hard to keep. Yeah, I’m wrapping things up. But I’m severely bummed. I tried making my own iced coffee out of hot coffee, but it tastes like lukewarm crap.

Since I’m on the subject, and since I am concluding a phase, here’s my ranking of the places I’ve worked:

1. Howley’s—A superb West Palm Beach diner where I wrote for most of last week (before we came home). Awesome staff, terrific menu, open late.

2. Panera—It’s bullshit that they don’t pay the staff more, OR supply them with a meal. But, save for the lame music, it’s a great place.

3. Starbucks 1—Not in love, but my local joint has a superb group of people who, ahem, often slip me free beverages. Drawback: You smell like fresh roast for the rest of the week.

4. Borders Cafe–Would be much higher were there not a VERY LOUD TALKER working there every day. Toss in the crazy couch lady, it’s sort of distracting.

5. Starbucks 2—Big problem—come winter, the place is so small you get chilled every single time the door opens. That said, there’s a very facsinating sexual drama going on with some of the regulars (not me) that keeps it spicey.

6. Cosi—I love some of the people, but it’s dirty and the bread is layered with salt. So-so.

7. Manhattanville College Library—When I started teaching here, Jonathan Tropper told me the library would be a great spot. It’s wonderful, but just too quiet. Can’t do it.

8. My local public library—The bathroom is just rancid. Can’t hold it all day.

9. Mirage Diner—Everything was peaches and roses … until I saw the dude cleaning the toilet with his bare hands, not wash … then serve drinks.