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Issue Date: November 2010 Issue

Rant: Refill 'er Up!

Beth Stallings
I'm on to you. Yes, you, little trendy breakfast spot by my house where, if I'm lucky, I can get one refill on an unfortunately sour cup of burning hot coffee. You bring me my morning cup in an oversized mug and think that means I won't need a refill? Sigh. I had resolved myself to the idea that this was the norm. I thought asking for a warm-up was just how things were done nowadays, and the automatic refill was a thing of the past. But after eating at more diners than I can count and drinking three times that in cups of black coffee, I can say one thing with confidence (and a jittery hand): There isn't a restaurant around town that couldn't learn a thing or two about coffee service from a local diner. First, it comes steaming hot in the little white ceramic mug that invokes happy memories of every diner you've ever visited. Second, it's the perfect drinking temperature — hot, but cool enough so as not to burn your mouth. Seriously, how do they do that? And after taking a few sips, a waitress is there with a full pot, ready to top me off. It just comes. There's no begging. No tracking down my waiter who suddenly disappears when I reach the bottom of my cup. I don't care if you use imported beans from the farthest regions of the Earth. What good does that do me if I can't get a refill? So thank you, diners, for happily feeding my caffeine addiction for $1.50. And yes, I'd love another cup.

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