Oatmeal: don't eat it because I said so, but because it's good for you
Krispy Kreme Burger: Don't try this at home kids

Is it just me? Or has New York attitude permeated the lovely vieux ville of Durham?

For some reason, I thought leaving Brooklyn I'd left the legions of unhappy baristas and service people behind. You know, no more rain in this cloud, baby.

Alas, the adage that misery loves company remains alive and well in at least two of my favorite Durham cafes.

Perhaps my glow is too high-pro for curmudgeons? Who knows? Who cares? I want my food served without a side of nasty.

Yesterday at Scratch on Orange Street, the young man behind the counter tolerated me. Thanks, but my $5 for an ab-fab Poblano and Potato pie will spend nicely elsewhere. I'd suffer, naturally, because I need Scratch pies; my thighs need pies. But my digestion would be better without the server's attitude.

A few weeks back at Beyu Caffe on Main Street, I sat waiting at the bar for 10 minutes (in a mostly empty restaurant) before anyone acknowledged me. There were no less than five servers & a bartender in the front of the house. But, nary so much as a hello, we'll be right with you. For a $12 Manhattan - in Durham, no less - I'd like a chaise lounge and slippers, maybe a back rub.

Just kidding.

But you get my point.

Phoebe Lawless, owner of Scratch, is dynamic and talented. Her imprint - sans the less-than-delighted-to-be-there counter man - is evident. The same goes for Dorian "DJ" Bolden, who owns Beyu.

These owners are hands on. They care about the details. They know poor service or simply service that is lackadaisical hurts a business, no matter how popular or great the food is.

I'm wondering if they know something is rotten in the fresh food bin.


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