Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Travel - Favorite Coffee Shops
I have a few favorite coffee shops I like to stop at when I'm driving here or there. I expect the coffee to be good, but that's not why I go -- I'm just as likely to have tea, or a local specialty like the cider at Small World in Princeton. I like what Ray Oldenburg calls the third good place.
My favorites are just that because of their varying combination of location (near the roads I travel, in good towns and cities), aesthetics (everything from the room to the paper cups -- but I have more funky favorites than fancy ones), good food (usually carbohydrates) and the sum total, which determines whether or not they are local hangouts. In the end, what I like about the places is also what makes them local hangouts.
NB: I've linked to internet information for addresses and phone numbers, but most of the websites are terrible – don't judge a coffeeshop by its website! And some of the places are chains, like Dean and Deluca. That's okay, if it's a good place. In their case, I like the cafe on University Place, near Washington Square, and the small market a block from my apartment. Check out Zingerman's, too.
Arcadia - Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Black Sheep Deli - Amherst, Massachusetts
Books and Books - Coral Gables, Florida
Café Petrossian - Seventh Avenue, Manhattan
Café Sabarsky - Fifth Ave, Manhattan
City Bakery - 3 W 18th, Manhattan
City Dock Cafe - Annapolis, Maryland
Cooper-Hewitt garden & cafe - summer only
Dean & DeLuca - University Place, Manhattan
DTS - Garcia Street, Santa Fe
Hi-Rise Bakery - 56 Brattle Street, Cambridge
IntelligentsiA - Chicago, Illinois
Koffee Too? - York Street, New Haven
Marvelous Market - Georgetown, Washington
Metro - Broad Street, Augusta, Georgia
Modica Market - Seaside, Florida
Montague Book Mill - Montague, Massachusetts
Nick's - Amherst, Massachusetts
Slave to the Grind - Bronxville, New York
Small World Coffee - Princeton, New Jersey
Taylor Books / Coffeeshop - Charleston, WV
teany - Rivington Street, New York
telegraphe - 72nd Street, New York
Willoughby's - Church Street, New Haven
Zingerman's - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Taylor Books, telegraphe and Koffee Too have free WiFi. Others on the list have probably added it since I was last there.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Travel - Favorite Coffee Shops:
» More Third Good Places from Veritas et Venustas
To go along with my posts on favorite coffee houses (also here and here) and London pubs, here's a list from the British newspaper The Independent on the 50 best tea rooms in the world:50 best ... places for afternoon [Read More]
Tracked on Jul 1, 2004 11:16:32 AM
» Coffee House Redux - 04.27.04 from Veritas et Venustas
I've posted some comments from the TradArch chat line in the comments section of my Favorite Coffee Shops post. A few places added on April 27:Black Sheep Deli - Amherst, Massachusetts Nick's - Amherst, Massachusetts Hi-Rise Bakery - 56 Brattle [Read More]
Tracked on Jul 1, 2004 11:35:47 AM
» Coffee House Redux II - 04.30.04 from Veritas et Venustas
Geez, how did I forget this one in my list of coffee houses? The Montague Book Mill has been one of my favorite stops for years. When I first went there, the bookstore was a Western Mass, hippie-political bookstore (remember [Read More]
Tracked on Jul 1, 2004 11:43:52 AM
Tracked on Jul 10, 2004 1:19:20 AM
Tracked on Jul 11, 2004 8:43:49 AM
Tracked on Jul 21, 2004 11:01:01 AM
» Pleasures of the City from Veritas et Venustas
I have two more third places in New York to add to my list of coffee houses. One is also an addition to my post about favorite institutions in my neighborhood: the garden and cafe at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.Click to Enlarge [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 2, 2004 11:25:09 PM
» coffee from TrashCan
Travel -Favorite Coffee Shops : John Montague Massengale�� ���α� �ٴ� �ʱ�, ������ ���ĵǴ� ���� ���� ������ Ŀ�Ǽ��̾��ٴ� ��. ���ÿ� �̵����� ���� ��¼���ϴµ��� �� ������ �ִµ� .. ��ũ�� ��ã�ڴ� -_-;; ��·��. �� ����Ʈ�� �����ϴٴ� �귣�� Ŀ�Ǽ��... [Read More]
Tracked on Oct 12, 2004 6:26:27 AM
» Tired of New York? from Veritas et Venustas
Need a little vacation from New York but don't have time to go anywhere? The Café Petrossian, near Carnegie Center, is the anti-Starbucks. The croissants and atmosphere make you feel like you're in Paris. The Petrossian restaurant is next door on Seve... [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 4, 2005 10:16:43 AM
Tracked on Mar 31, 2005 6:57:22 AM
» Starbucks Redux from Veritas et Venustas
Re my earlier Starbucks post, Rob Assumendi had it right: Yes, it's interesting how Starbucks creates a modicum of social space in places where there was none and hurts local business where there is plenty. A friend in the Chicago suburbs would love a ... [Read More]
Tracked on Apr 20, 2005 12:07:50 PM
» coffee from trashcan
Travel -Favorite Coffee Shops : John Montague Massengale의 블로그 근대 초기, 뉴스가 전파되는 가장 빠른 방법은 커피숍이었다는 글. 도시와 미디어의 관계 어쩌구하는데서 본 기억이 있는데 .. 링크를 못찾겠다 -_-;; 어쨌든. 저 리스트엔 유명하다는 브랜드 커피숍은 하나도 없다. 나도 저런 리스트있었으면...... [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 28, 2005 1:14:32 PM
» Bucks from Veritas et Venustas
SURE, Starbucks has played a large role in increasing the quality of coffee in America, and it helped make it possible for local coffee shops to know they could succeed. But why do so many of us favor Starbucks over the local shops? In Coral Gables, th... [Read More]
Tracked on Nov 7, 2006 8:51:28 AM
for your list:
239 Jaffe Road,
Wanchai, Hong Kong
A favorite spot for the food, the serving staff, the music, as well as the coffee.
I'd love to hear an architect's take on this city. A city that works on many, if not all, levels.
Posted by: Rebecca Childs Fowler at Apr 14, 2004 11:24:53 AM
Well, if we're going to go outside the country, we have to include the Gran Caffe Sant' Eustachio. The cafe doesn't meet my requirements for a place to hang out, unless the weather's warm enough to hang out in the Piazza Sant' Eustachio, but they have the mother of all espresso.
On the whole (obviously there are exceptions), French espresso is better than American espresso. And Italian espresso is better than French - Italy even gives espresso masters state certification.
And the best espresso in Italy and the world is at Sant' Eustachio, in the center of Rome.
The espresso machine has an aluminum fin that hides what the espresso maker is doing.
Does that sound silly? Only if you haven't tasted the espresso.
Posted by: John Massengale at Apr 14, 2004 9:59:58 PM
My local closed :(. (They just got tired of running it-new infant, other jobs, etc.)
The new walk-the-dogs-in-the-morning-to place isn't bad (they even give cookies to my dogs), but I still miss Caffee Bacci
My favorite big city coffee shop still has to be Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store, even with its location in a tourist district.
Posted by: Brian Miller at Apr 15, 2004 10:58:17 AM
I'd add the Starbucks in Madison Park, Seattle. Of course Seattle has several hundred other terrific hangouts.
Why then do I mention Starbucks? Partly because their ubiquity makes it easy for people to denigrate them.
I just happened to be in the Madison Park one last weekend and I was remined again about how savvy Starbucks is about human behavior and why it is no surprise that the company hs grown so big.
Posted by: David Sucher at Apr 15, 2004 12:06:42 PM
I recall Henry Hope Reed’s wife, Constance, lamenting a few years ago about the gradual disappearing of the coffee shop. She made clear the difference between coffee shop and coffee house, the latter of which is in anything but danger of disappearing! I recently stopped in a Starbucks in a strip shopping center off an interstate ramp in the wilderness half hour north of Richmond, Virginia.
In fact, prior to the Starbucks phenomenon, there were virtually no coffee houses outside of the major American cities. But coffee shops, a place for an inexpensive breakfast or lunch, with generally indifferent coffee, and beehive hairdo waitresses, were in every town and village. It seems from your list, John, that you’re talking about coffee houses, not shops, are you not?
Posted by: Milton Grenfell at Apr 17, 2004 3:11:08 PM
On 4/16/04 6:26 PM, "Grenfell Architecture PLLC"
> It seems from your list, John, that you¹re talking about
> coffee houses, not shops, are you not?
If there's a good coffee shop that's the local hangout -- okay.
New York coffee shops are pretty busy places. They would get annoyed during lunch if you were just reading and nursing a coffee.
Also, they should have good pie.
Posted by: John Massengale at Apr 17, 2004 9:13:04 PM
From Trad Arch
The most magnificent coffee house I've visited has been the Caffe Pedrocchi in Paduva -- a true temple to the art of coffee. They swirl little volutes on top of the cappuccino.
Posted by: Kevin Kunak at Apr 17, 2004 9:18:32 PM
Would the place frequented by the characters in Seinfeld count as a "coffee shop"?
Also, what's a 'volute'?
Posted by: linden at Apr 18, 2004 6:06:52 PM
My favorite coffeeshop of all time is in Palm Beach Florida. Lawyers, billionaires, electricians, ladies-who-lunch, tourists, has-been actors and all inbetween have breakfast at Green's Pharmacy, across the street from the Catholic church where the Kennedys worshipped. They still call you "hon" and you can sit at the counter and read the "shiny sheet' - local news which has all the good gossip about who from the neighborhood has been indicted that week.
Posted by: Anne Fairfax at Apr 22, 2004 9:11:06 AM
We have Eddie T's and Pete's on Capitol Hill. True to form in every
Posted by: Nir Buras at Apr 22, 2004 9:17:17 AM
Did anybody ever go to "Grands"?
It was a coffee shop near Penn that was among Venturi's most earliest projects. At an early stage of his building career, when he didn't have many other examples to write about, he pointed to it as a design that exemplifyed his theories.
Anyone have any experience of the place?
--Seth Joseph Weine, NYC
Posted by: Seth Joseph Weine at Apr 22, 2004 9:19:21 AM
The New York Post just reviewed Philadelphia coffee houses.
April 20, 2004 -- With two coffee freaks at the wheel, DAVID LANDSEL gets inducted into Philly café society
THE City of Brotherly Love is known for many things. The cheese steak. The Liberty Bell. Cheap housing.
Add great coffee to that list, please.
Wander the narrow streets of Center City and you'll find that roasters are doing a healthy business here, and that caf‚s and coffee houses are so prevelent, they've become the new generation of corner tavern.
Small wonder New York's top restaurateurs are getting their beans from a city many of us have never visited.
The civilized set's favorite roaster is La Colombe Torrefaction, whose blends have become a staple in a number of Manhattan's top kitchens. Jean-Georges Vongerichten can't live without it; neither, it seems, can Alain Ducasse.
Because there are too many caf‚s here to separate the good from the great, The Post decided to let La Colombe's co-owner Jean-Phillippe Iberti (whose partner is Todd Carmichael) and his colleague, Nicolas O'Connell, show us the way.These two French expats are not only entertaining, they're coffee junkies extraordinaire. Here, their favorite hangouts.
Pho Nguyen Hue
Chances are Ducasse has never made the trip to this South Philly Vietnamese joint, but he ought to.
Located along the Washington Avenue strip that's become quite the Little Saigon, its iced coffee, best paired here with banh mi, is worth the trip.
These Vietnamese sandwiches are more than a little French: you start with a warm, crunchy/chewy baguette, spread on pate, then add the fillings. In our case, we each went for the grilled pork topped with a marinated cuke and carrot combo, plus mayo.
We polished them off in minutes, and ordered more. Each sandwich was just $3; the coffee $2 (1601 Washington Ave.).
It's no small accident that the Trieste, Italy, roaster Hausbrandt chose the already saturated Philadelphia coffee market as the site of its first U.S. caf‚. The label isn't as well-known as say, Illy, but the company is hoping that will change.
The café, simple and quiet, is located across the street from the famous Striped Bass Restaurant (about to be reincarnated).
Here, espressos are about as good as they get, pulled ristretto (short) and ever so creamy. The barista warms up and starts chatting as we stand at the counter and drink. Iberti buys a canister of the coffee -Moka blend (207 S. 15th St.).
The Japanese are good at keeping things interesting. So when the typical cup of coffee starts to bore you, get over to this Chinatown caf‚, one of the only venues in the U.S. where the art of the siphon brew is being practiced.
You can get a good version of the machinery for about $120, but not having one -nor wanting one - we were happy to watch the kids (literally) behind the counter do the honors. The brewing method keeps it smooth. The Sumatra, at $4, is worth the price (141 N. 9th St.).
Here, coffee is served with cream - a lot of cream.
Stephanie and John Reitano, owners of this gelato joint know what they're doing in the basement lab.
They're business savvy, too, having opened their very alluring shop on a rapidly redeveloping block.
The shop features wood floors, blue lamps and a curvaceous display counter that gets right in your face as you enter the rectangular corner store.
The Reitanos' use La Colombe in a handful of their blends, and while the cappuccino is terrific, a combination of the banana and peanut butter gelato (made from peanuts roasted in-house) is unforgettable (119 S. 13th St.).
It helps to be stubborn when you go into the coffee business. Iberti and Carmichael are no exception.They insist on purity and simplicity, hoping to educate consumers against such tragedies as the Frappuccino.
But a visit here isn't akin to some Soup Nazi nightmare. The Rittenhouse Square caf‚ is seriously seductive. Warm and friendly, its baristas pull one fantastic shot after another amid a soap opera-calibre social scene (130 S. 19th Street).
Posted by: John Massengale at Apr 22, 2004 9:43:15 AM
> Also, they should have good pie.
Wow, you've hit a nerve with me on that one!
Where-oh-where is there good pie anymore?
99.9999% of the pies I've had in coffee shops and restaurants are factory made--and what the manufacturers do is LOAD THEM WITH SUGAR!
Instead of letting the natural sweeness of the fruit "speak" (and maybe use a limited amount of sugar--or better yet, maple syrup--to deal with some of the fruit's tartness), they just drown the pie innards with corn syrup, so that you get a gelatinous mess of sugary goo. [I'd say the sam thing to the manufacturers of almost all fruit yogurts: let the fruit do the work, and hold back on most of the sugar.]
Any good pie in NYC???
At this point, I'd pay for the info!!
--Seth Joseph Weine, NYC
Posted by: Seth Joseph Weine at Apr 22, 2004 9:45:12 AM
> Any good pie in NYC???
What about the Little Pie Company of the Big Apple, right near you on 14th Street?
14th Street shop:
407 West 14th St. (btwn 9-10th Aves.)
M-F 10am to 8pm,
Sat & Sun 11am to 6pm
Posted by: John Massengale at Apr 22, 2004 9:46:51 AM
I never knew you had a pie nerve as well as a Pi nerve.
RE coffee shops (I must be hungry)
There's Cora's (if it is still there) on Ocean Blvd in Santa Monica, Dupar's on Ventura Blvd in the Valley, Whatever is left of the Ship's chain in Los Angeles, and there used to be a great breakfast joint in Tucson, don't know if it is still there, called Robert's. used to be on Columbus and Speedway.
I find most intriguing authentic greasy spoons serving a canonical American breakfast that are owned and operated by recent immigrants. Testament of the power of lard and butter.
There is a French Cafe on 2nd and Penn in DC which has a fabulous granola peach crunch breakfast item, and they serve coffee in a bowl. So it isn't a greasy spoon, but it isn't a chain either and offers something wonderful for the palate. Can we have them in the list as well? And I have seen (Latino) workers coming to the Seafood Market in Washington at 7:00 am to eat oysters. That isn't your typical breakfast, perhaps, but it can certainly get your day going. I still think that black beans and black coffee make a fine breakfast.
Posted by: Nir Buras at Apr 22, 2004 10:37:26 AM
It would be great to track down Ray Oldenburg and get him to participate in this subject. I spoke with him a few years ago at the moment his “The Great Good Place” was being re-printed. He told me then that his publisher thought it was a one-shot book that would be short lived with a limited audience. Now it’s a classic on the same list with Jacob’s Death and Life.
By the way, across the street from my office on the square in Vermillion is Harvey’s (named after the pooka). Harvey’s has a “cheers” style pub upstairs and a café/dinner/bakery downstairs – we found you can’t mix different drinking cultures on one place so they are split by a staircase – two different good places under one roof.
Posted by: Tom Low at Apr 22, 2004 10:37:58 AM
It is funny how times change. When McDonalds first started up it was popular because people complained about the undependable nature of diner food. I remember seeing the original Golden Arches building recently which is a terrific roadside building in sort of a fast food googie style. It made me yearn for those glorius, optimistic early days of suburban sprawl!
Posted by: Gary Brewer at Apr 22, 2004 10:44:05 AM
> my favorite coffeeshop of all time is in Palm Beach Florida.... They still
> call you "hon"
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Morning Glory is just what diner devotees would order
Published: Sunday, September 20, 1998
The plexiglass windows may be scuffed to a foggy patina, but a bright noon sun cut through the Morning Glory Diner to illuminate the grill, where owner Samantha "Sam" Mickey is a short-order flurry of cookery and chatter.
"Talk, talk, talk," she clips to a few of her pals, who gather around the counter in debate over an exotic new beverage. "They say it tastes like a chocolate diet shake . . . not that I've ever tasted one of those."
She ends the thought with a chuckle as the oven door opens, billowing out wafts of the world's cheesiest macaroni, baking away inside as big as a loaf, its crust toasting golden and crisp. Beside it, frittata omelets stuffed with roasted peppers, ham and spinach puff and brown in their pans.
What's good for lunch, Sam?
"Me," she says, scooping whipped cream onto a biscuit.
"Her," she says, pointing a spatula to the waitress with curly blond tresses.
"Get the macaroni, hon," says the waitress. "You're going to love me."
So, I do. And I do. South Philadelphia's Morning Glory Diner is just the very thing I ordered.
In an era when so many of our old-fashioned diners are slipping away into the microwave age of convenience, this modest, low-slung brick building at the corner of 10th and Fitzwater Streets is breathing new life back into the genre, pouring heart and soul into comfort food that still bothers to be homemade.
Even the ketchup is made from scratch here, in 12 hours of toil and trouble that bring apples, clove and ginger to the sometimes spicy tomato mix. The results are imperfect. But that is one of the charms of the Morning Glory, where Mickey, a longtime bartender and waitress who opened this spot a year ago, has been learning the trials of pro cooking on the job, and with increasing success.
There are times, of course, when the arduous effort just isn't worth it, like the homemade granola that was recently replaced by a supplier's. And despite Mickey's best efforts at organic alchemy, her veggie burger patties ("my nightmare!") squeeze out the sides of the bun like mashed potatoes -- tasty indeed, but more mush than burger patty.
There are also times when this inexperienced kitchen (Mickey turns over the grill to Mary Kate Ralston for dinner) could pay more attention to its high-heat pursuits. An otherwise wonderful "samwich" of grilled Italian sausage, red peppers, and sauteed greens had too much char for its own good. And I've had some pancakes that could have been a little more brown.
But Morning Glory's successes easily outpace its trial-and-error mistakes. With fresh, quality produce, healthful salads, and good ingredients such as the delicious breakfast meats from Godshall's and Italian sausage from Fiorella Bros., it's hard to go wrong when you keep it this simple and affordably priced.
Morning Glory is not Philadelphia's first effort to reclaim good cooking for the diner. Jack McDavid's Down Home Diner in the Reading Terminal Market set the standard there, one that Mickey, a former Down Home employee, readily concedes as one of her big culinary inspirations.
But the Glory has what the Down Home never will -- a colorful, down-to-earth neighborhood that has embraced the fledgling eatery as if it has been a corner fixture in Bella Vista all along. And whether you are among the local faithful who line the sidewalk for weekend brunch, or a stranger taking refuge from a blustery midweek night over a steaming bowl of fresh tomato rice soup, you are bound to wish there were more diners just like it near you, cooking away with the same enthusiastic determination to find just the right recipes.
Mickey and her troops have discovered many. Her pan-baked biscuits are crusted on the outside with curling rocky ridges, but nice and soft inside -- an especially welcoming pedestal for fresh whipped cream and ripe berries. The dense chocolate-peanut butter square is the kind of thing you learn (but never forget) in home-economics class, a do-it-yourself peanut-butter cup brownie.
French toast made from challah bread has a hint of vanilla in its custard and a wonderful homemade strawberry compote that makes the dish complete. The macaroni and cheese, with cheeses including Swiss, Provolone, Cheddar and Parmesan, comes out more like noodle kugel than anything creamy out of a box. But it is the dream my waitress promised.
The pan-baked frittatas arrive tantalizingly puffed, a hearty and satisfying take on the omelet filled with roasted potatoes and smoky ham or good Provolone with sweet roasted peppers. And the real hamburgers are a half-pound victory of char-grilled beef. Served on excellent Metropolitan Bakery buns, they offer one of the best reasons I can think of not to go veggie.
For those who do eschew beef, though, the turkey meat loaf is surprisingly good, avoiding the insipid dry curse of most ground-turkey products. It is actually moist and delicious, filled with fresh basil and a thin stuffing of sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella cheese -- a meat loaf I have lately begun to crave. The potato pancakes available at dinner had crispy shoestring edges with lots of onions inside, and a free-form shape that reminded me of home-cooked latkes.
As for Mickey's traditional pancake batter, it is so smooth and dense that it has the texture of silk. Add a heaping handful of fruit or chocolate chips, and it becomes one of the Glory's best desserts. In an effort to sophisticize the nighttime menu, though, pancakes have been removed from the dinner desserts -- a mistake, I think, since any self-respecting diner would serve pancakes all the time.
But the recently launched dinner service is a work in progress undergoing constant menu fiddling, with a little more pasta and seafood to come. I'm sure they could be convinced.
At night, the cheery purple and yellow flower-painted walls, which energize during the day with a real diner bustle, dim to slow evening shadows that our waiter charmingly called "ambience." With the welcome added touch of flickering votives, we could see across the sparsely occupied tables that there was indeed some room to spare here for a few hearty pancake eaters.
Nevertheless, with the stereo oscillating between hard guitar licks, cool folkies and souped-up Beatles, the diner's air hummed with sustainably good vibes. Three customers behind us, with the spring of music and a good meal to guide them from their booth, even moved toward the exit in a mini-samba line. Swiveling their hips in unison as the door swung open, they twisted happily from the Morning Glory Diner out into the Bella Vista night. We could only do the same.
ABOUT THE RESTAURANT
Morning Glory Diner
735 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
GET A MAP |GET DIRECTIONS
Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Fri. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; brunch served 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. &Sun.
Inexpensive - Under $10
Posted by: John Massengale at Apr 22, 2004 2:47:06 PM
My favorite coffee shop is Joe's at the corner of Flat Shoals and Glenwood in the East Atlanta neighborhood in Atlanta. Of course the primary virtue of this establishment is that it is a two minute walk from my front door.
But aside from the proximity, it's a place I can wander in for spontaneous socializing with my neighbors.
The coffee isn't bad, but my main expectations for coffee is that it has caffeine and isn't actively terrible. Philip Langdon, who has
higher expectations and requirements for coffee than I do had a cup with me there when the shop was named Sacred Grounds and declared the coffee to be of pretty good quality.
It is one of the few businesses in the neighborhood which would evoke
panic in me if it closed.
Posted by: Larry Felton Johnson at Apr 22, 2004 9:53:15 PM
Athens, GA is the consummate college town that has had a fondess for outstanding coffee houses and music clubs (sometimes in the same place) for about a decade. Starbucks didn't discover the town until at least 4 or 5 independents had opened up in the thriving downtown and the smaller, but ever popular Five Points shopping district, just down the street from my house.
My unabashed favorite in downtown is Blue Sky Coffee (http://www.athensworld.com/coffee.html for photos) which has a delightful artsy interior and plenty of outdoor seating on College Square. This affords ample people watching over coffee or a variant, plus the croissants and cheesecake provide the carbs.
Five Points hosts at least 2 (one is a wine, coffee, dessert bar that opened recently, Aromas) and Jittery Joe's gets the stars for rustic ambiance, with book-lined shelves and a "library" type atmosphere, served up in an old converted gas station.
When you get to neighborhood bars, I have a few of those to add, too.
Posted by: Lucy Rowland at May 1, 2004 12:01:13 AM