100 Favorite Dishes: Number 79 -- The Aileen Special at Undergrounds Coffeehaus
As a countdown to the Best of Broward Palm Beach 2011, coming in June, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida. Send your own nominations to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
No. 79: The Aileen Special from Undergrounds Coffeehaus
Mystery drink of espresso goodness!
By Erin Hilburn
Sure, you could go to Starbucks and order your very safe and boring Venti Vanilla Latte. Charlie prefers to walk on the wild side.
Every coffee shop has their standard drinks, but Undergrounds Coffeehaus is far from standard.
Looking up on the menu board, familiar names catch the eye: Grasshopper, Chai Latte, Americano, etc. Then your gazes falls upon "Aileen Special". Are you feeling adventurous?
Owner Aileen Liptak is behind the counter, with a series of questions:
Would you like your drink hot or cold? (On our last visit, we answered cold; but if you answer hot the question is followed up with small or large.)
Next, she'll ask you what flavors you like, and what's off limits. Some customers don't like coconut or white chocolate, others don't care for mint.
After a back and forth exchange, Aileen turns her back to you and begins work on your drink. At this point, you've given your preferences and dislikes, but anything else is fair game. You try to peek over her shoulder as she reaches for a syrup bottle.
Aileen hands your drink across the counter, and you take a sip. Then it becomes a guessing game: "Aileen, did you put blueberry in this? Is that cinnamon? Maple syrup? Wait a minute...bacon?!?"
Eventually, she'll give you the rundown on everything in your drink. It's never the same twice, but always contains espresso.
The Aileen Special is a one of a kind concoction that leaves us coming back for more every time.
2743 E. Oakland Park Blvd.
Wilton Manors, FL 33306
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No. 91: Mariquitas from Cabana
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No. 94: Asparagus and Swiss Omelette from La Bonne Crepe on Las Olas
No. 95: Pad Thai from Sukhothai
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No. 97: Arancini Rice Balls from D'Angelo
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