AUTHOR: linda TITLE: Morning cup of joe DATE: 7:05:00 AM ----- BODY:

I set out to mail a Valentine's package to my sister yesterday morning from the Embarcadero post office, on my way to work on Battery Street. I had some time to kill since I stepped off the Muni amazingly on time (or, early) so I had time to debate about where I wanted to buy a cup of coffee. I walked by the Starbucks on California, the Tullys on Davis, the Braizz after Clay, there's another Starbucks on Battery, and a Peets up ahead on Embarcadero One... then I saw it, up ahead: Gambinos, a quaint green-white-red joint, no closer than right next door to my waiting point.

I ordered a large coffee from the smiling guy behind the counter, who asked if I wanted room for cream. Handing him two bucks, I asked if there was a place to wash my hands, "... muni, you know..." But with a quick glance around the narrow shop, I'd answered my own question.

"Technically, no. But, well. You can come back here real quick."

Perfect! I dropped a handful of change in the tip jar and scurried around the long row of deli cases while Mr. Register informed two perplexed sandwich-makers that "this nice young lady is going to come back here just to wash her hands real quick." I was there and back with a bunch of thank-yous before one of the Aprons replied, "that'll be twenty-seven dollars."

I laughed and said that I paid the guy up front, who agreed, and said they get a smile, *cheese* to which Register agreed: "and what a nice smile it is!"

On my way out, I assured them that this was my first time here, see, and, now I'll come back.

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