It's not the fact that the place is anything fantastic. Far from it. The design and layout is simple. The sofas are comfy and the bar, good for propping up weary limbs. But that's about it. Even the graphics maintain that simplicity. They're straight out of the typical Al Fresco's and Jaspa's adverts that you see in the papers and sometimes in The Word. Some may like it. Some may not. But it's clear and very effective. And it's got lots of spots in it.
It's more the staff here that makes this place tick. The manager remembers me from a few years ago. She's done the rounds of the cafes, restaurants and bars and now she's ended up at The Cow. But she knows my name and we have a quick chat.
Then there's another member of staff there, a woman called Thuong, who 10 years ago was the main reason people came to the vegetarian restaurant Bodhi Tree just off Pham Ngu Lao and then came back again and again and again. She's not Number Five girl attractive thank god, but just good fun. Great smile. Unusual coloured eyes. Ethnic minority (but don't try telling her that as she won't admit it and won't even deny it).
She, too, remembers me. She even remembers my ex-girlfriend years back before I got hooked up to someone else, tied the knot and went in for child rearing. It's nice to be remembered sometimes.
There are only a couple of other places down Backpackerville that fill that little service gap, and few downtown (unless you drink your fare down certain haunts in Old Market).
What was the catchphrase in Cheers again?