The great Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson stood a lofty 5-foot-10, which is a totally unremarkable piece of trivia, until you consider that he weighed no more than 115 his entire life. Nothing ever seemed to leave a calling card on his toothpick waistline—not beer, not stew, not eggs, not even the beloved scones he gobbled like a vacuum cleaner and wrote about in his novels. It's said that if he turned sideways and stuck out his tongue, the fine folks on the streets of Edinburgh (his birthplace) would routinely mistake him for a very tall zipper.
Bob, who died in 1894, never made it down this way on his lone visit to California, and Downtown's Elixir Espresso Bar wouldn't open for more than 100 years in any case. If their paths had crossed, you can bet you'd find him gutting the eatery's supply of fresh-baked scones as fast as it could turn 'em out. You'd do well to follow in the man's footsteps here—the gigantic raspberry scone cannot be beaten with a telephone pole, let alone a stick, and the espresso washes it down like Jack-and-Coke chases McEwan's, Stevenson's fave brew. The better part is that the scone and espresso together will run you a paltry $5 or so. The best part is that the eatery's central location—427 C St., Suite 101, near Horton Plaza—will keep you coming back. It's open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; phone is 619-696-6242.
I'm not an expert on scones, but I'm a bit of an armchair authority on Stevenson—and if he was that nutsoid about the popular delicacy (also Scottish in origin, by the way), I figure it's my place to tell you about it. There's a chance all that doughy quickbread could ruin your waist. No worries, though—Bob was so gaunt that, even in death, the effect sorta balances out.