While Wednesday’s downpour temporarily halted my excessive caffeine consumption, here are some of the places that piqued my interest the past couple of weeks:
The West (Hope x Union Sts, 718-599-1704). Truthfully, this was not a first-time visit. You pretty much can’t go wrong with the coffee or the avocado toast here. It’s a cozy and popular hangout that captures the spirit of the neighborhood. In the colder months, be sure to give the Maple Chai a try--- it’s sweet but delightfully so.
The self-dubbed most westerly equivalent to Montauk, The End (522 Metropolitan Ave., 347-987-3954) is the original source for “lattes” of magical proportions. (I say “lattes” because the famed Unicorn and Mermaid drinks don’t contain espresso at all--- they are all herbal/juice concoctions). While these beverages are more of an acquired taste (not the sort that would make for an appropriate “gateway” drink to the world of clean eating and juicing), they also carry straight-up juices that are very accessible, like the perky and refreshing Liquid Sunshine. Coffee is excellent and the nut, whole grain, and plant-based energy balls are solidly toddler-approved.
If Amy March from Little Women claimed butter to be divinity, she would have had no trouble devouring the fig, coconut and pecan bar alongside a responsibly-sourced beverage from Think Coffee (10 Devoe St., 212-255-6452) and claiming a full heavenly consort was present. There’s a reason this otherwise unassuming little breakfast treat won a ribbon at the county fair. After getting a bar for myself one week, I came back the next for the express purpose of making sure my husband, kid and parents could partake. (Insert fawning). The vegan chai muffin also turned out to be utterly delightful. Think’s selection of ethical coffees is impressive, challenging us all to be better consumers in the process.
While taking advantage of the weather one week, I was able to stop by Little King Coffee Counter (749 Metropolitan Ave., 917-947-9965) whose friendly sign greets commuters as they hop on and off the L train. Latte was smooth and delicate, while the chocolate croissant had a surprising complexity: flaky goodness met with a hint of unexpected (but pleasant) bitterness.
Charter Coffee House (309 Graham Ave., 347-721-3735) was an accidental discovery while heading towards Lorimer St. The coffee had more of a winy, young cherry profile. If you like that quality, this is your place. The financiers were the unsung heroes: the coconut was earnestly so, with bits inside, while the pistachio best captured the anise-like side to the nut.
If Heaven could ever truly exist on earth, then I am absolutely convinced it is located at Orient Point. That slim wisp of quiet, fertile land, dotted with charming historic homes and cradled in unapologetic blue on all sides holds a special place in my heart.
A summertime stop into town (which consists of a post office and a couple of shops) absolutely warrants a trip to the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop, a seasonal pop-up of the famed Brooklyn one. They serve Stumptown alongside the best pie you will ever find, anywhere.
We enjoyed the Bitter Chocolate Pecan at Whole Foods during the holidays and so decided to something different this time: the Salted Honey pie. Four words only, friends: “be still my heart”, followed by an exhortation: “You must go!”
But if you do go, blend in softly and slowly to this sweet little town, which has been largely unmarred by the hustle and bustle that defines summertime on Long Island. Allow this place to breathe as it is, and you too will breathe and open your eyes to still more than a slice of devastating perfection.
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