Moshi isn’t much of tourist town. Other than being the jumping-off point for Kilimanjaro treks, it doesn’t have much to offer save an interesting afternoon walk. Yet, tourists always need to eat, and it seems that most of them end up at a place called The Coffee Shop. Our guide had mentioned that we might want to check it out and Lonely Planet felt the same way. So, after six days of climbing and eating local food, my climbing partners and I decided it was time to get in touch with our tourist roots.
The Coffee Shop has a nice setting with an outdoor eating area as well a decent-sized interior. The wall dividing the two is plastered with all sorts of tourist, volunteer and other information in English. If the name of the place hadn’t given away its desire to bring in foreigners, this wall certainly drove the point home.
I decided to order one of their specials, the Bacon Pizza. This turned out to be a huge mistake because it took nearly forever to prepare. Granted, nearly every restaurant I went to in Tanzania took a long time, but this was extra long. So long, in fact, that the pizza didn’t arrive until my companions had completely finished their meals. Seriously, I know a lot of places in the world bring out dishes as they become ready instead of all at once, but this was extreme. And unfortunately, the pizza wasn’t worth the wait. I hadn’t expected a bacon pizza to have more green peppers and onions than bacon, but that’s what happened. The crust was also a bit soggy and the cheese had a crispiness better suited for things that aren’t pizza.
I was happy to have the small comfort of pizza from home, but prepared like that I probably would have been better off with just about anything else. Everyone else enjoyed their meal, so despite being called a special I am led to believe that pizza is not the way to go at The Coffee Shop. It will take a like more than six days of local Tanzanian food to make me crave a pizza like that. Perhaps the place is simply better served as coffee shop and not a restaurant.