Hey there! Do you have a spot? Your sofa and bed doesn’t count. We all have a spot in our home we gravitate towards, but what about outside?
A spot where atmosphere is just right and you can do just about anything there. You walk in and everyone knows you. From the door you make a beeline right to your favorite chair or table. You can chill. It’s a “public home.” A place you can be comfortable in for various reasons. I came to find a spot out of necessity.
Hunt for the Spot
During my time living without Wi-Fi, I had to find a spot. Had to search high and low. Well… not really. More like across the street and on the opposite side of Shanghai Times Square’s first floor. While going through the stress of apartment hunting and then moving, I found refuge in a place called the Blue Frog.
This became my spot.
I have to start off saying I knew I would love this spot, when our waiter, Mickey came over enthusiastically. She could not speak English very well, but her attitude and spirit was great, and we tackled the language barrier just fine. Service was all smiles.
Now onto the checklist. Frankly, the Blue Frog did not have much competition. It was because…
One. There was Wi-Fi.
I needed a place with Wi-Fi. That was my priority in finding a spot. No Wi-Fi. No staying.
Two. It’s within walking distance.
Like I said before, it is literally across the street. I short cut through the mall (for AC) and can be in my spot in three minutes.
Three. The food is great.
Actually amazing! I can eat anything on the menu (as long as there is no mushrooms or nuts) and be completely satisfied. And not just one time—but every time. And when the food comes out…. It isn’t just slapped on the plate. The chefs make sure the plate looks as good as the food tastes. Right now, I’m obsessed with the Salmon and Mushroom Linguine (just Salmon actually) and fries.
Four. Coffee is great.
It would be impossible if the coffee was bad. I don’t know about the actual drinks, but that elixir of life, known as coffee, runs like gold and comes with a free cookie. I don’t even know what kind of cookie it is still, but it’s good.
Five. I don’t get kicked out.
That was kind of important as I had hours of work to do (and shows to catch up on). I have stayed there, in one spot for almost five hours, maybe even more, without once being asked, “How much longer are you going to be?” I can come in and claim a booth, spread out all my papers, open up laptop and tablet and no one would think anything of it.
Six. The staff is great.
I love walking in and being greeted by the staff—by name. Immediately, a warm and inviting atmosphere is created. A few of the staff have really good conversational English and talk with me when things are slow. Some are shy with English, but it is very heart-warming when they try to practice (especially being an English teacher, since confidence in language is my focus with my students). Likewise, I can practice Chinese with them. Even though their progression in English is probably better than mine in Chinese.
They are also attentive. I ordered apple juice every time I came in my first week. When I came in one time, before I even had the menu, she said, “Apple juice.” I laughed, “Yes.” When I don’t come in as regularly, they ask about what I have been doing, or if I come in at a different time, they comment as though I’m off schedule. Just little comments like that mean a lot when living away from home.
Lastly, the staff is dependable. Because I live so close, I can leave my belongings and grab something from apartment without worrying about them being touched. Of course, a laptop can also serve as insurance
This one is for free, but the bartenders are really cute too.
Seven. On friendly terms with the general manager.
This is definitely a plus and sealed the Blue Frog as my spot. It’s great being on friendly terms with not only the restaurant manager, but general manager. I can stay updated on restaurant events and specials. Both managers are really nice people. The restaurant manager brings his son in on the weekends and he’s so cute!
If you ever come to Shanghai, or already in Shanghai, definitely check this place out! It will be well worth it! Try it out and let me know what you think of my spot. Already have a spot, either in Shanghai or somewhere else, feel free to share!