Thursday, November 18, 2010

Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes

There are delicious restaurants in my neighborhood (Purple Yam, anyone?) but it's coffee shops that are nearest and dearest to my heart. And so imagine my joy at having three classy new options within a few blocks of my house. (One other option, an outpost of the bizarrely-named Connecticut Muffin chain, predates my move to the neighborhood, but for various reasons it hasn't proved quite right.)

First to arrive on the ever-busying Cortelyou scene was the aptly-named Market, which sells, among other things, serrano ham sandwiches to die for, my very favorite goat cheese studded with cranberries, and, of course, cupcakes. It is always exciting to see what new flavors have come in--guava? pumpkin cheesecake? pear brandy?--and in fact we are ordering some for Thanksgiving this year in addition to the usual pie. There are also espresso-based drinks which I have been known to sip on the way to work (damn, did I feel comical drinking a tiny espresso on my walk to the Q).

Though Market is great, I refer to it as "the tiny market" for a reason. So I was very excited to hear that not one but two new coffee shops were opening in my neighborhood, after the close of Vox Pop. (They're totally different from Vox, that is a subject for another post.)

The first of these is Qathra, which most embodies what I look for in a coffee shop. Spacious and full of tables, it's a great place to proofread. (I jokingly told the owner I should give him a cut of my proceeds since I spent so much time there.) The coffee and espresso-based drinks are good; there's also a gingery chai, hot apple cider, some unusual cold drinks (lemonade with rosewater, anyone?) and an ever-expanding array of food options. This includes, yes, cupcakes, and also breakfast pastries and some more savory options I've yet to try.

Cafe Madeline, just a few blocks away, wins the contest for best latte. They also have a nice buy-ten-get-one-free system (when I brought in my thermos on one of their first days, they happily gave me extra stamps). And sandwiches like ficelle with prosciutto and fig jam. To say nothing of the adorable puppydog logo that graces their door and business cards. They're just down the block from the Q, which couldn't be more convenient. And delicious!

So, next time you feel like venturing to the south of Brooklyn, give me a call. We'll go get some coffee, yeah?


  1. I could write something like this for my neighborhood but it would be really really long because there are a damn lot of cafés around here. Today is Thursday, which means it's Marillenknödel day at the Café Putz. Very important.

    And for strange names, I offer you the dueling German chains California Coffee and San Francisco Coffee Company. Since when has California been known for its coffee except for due to its proximity to Seattle?

  2. What are Marillenknödel? Some kind of sweet dumpling thing? That is what I had when I had knödel a while back.

    SF is getting more popular for coffee, but really that reminds me of when German McDonalds were selling SoHo cupcakes or whatever.

  3. It's a sweet dumpling filled with apricots and it is delicious.

    Europeans know lots about American culture but extraordinarily little about American geography. Only the Germans would defer to Americans for coffee, anyone else in Europe would go for something Italian. (And you see lots of Italian stuff in Germany too.)

  4. DONE. I am so coming down to explore soon. The only time I was there was to eat at the Tibetan place on Cortelyou (have you ever had butter tea? I am not particularly recommending it). These coffee places sound rad--everything in my neighborhood is getting too crowded!

  5. I had a Tibetan iced tea and it was pretty good. Come over here and hang out!