Monday, January 18, 2010

Where can a b!@#& get a cup of coffee around here?

Some of you may be familiar with this article that ran in the NY Times late last year, chronicling the Franklin Avenue coffee wars. As someone who fiends for crack...I mean, coffee every morning at around 9:30am, a war of shops seems like a dream to me. Yes! Compete for my business!

Not so much.

The Pulp & The Bean was the first coffee shop I visited. I wanted to be seduced by exotic lattes, perhaps something to feed my well-documented pumpkin dependancy/obsession. Instead, I got overpriced coffee with too much milk and not enough flavor. On that day, they were advertising an "Apple Cider Latte" outside, but the girl at the counter informed me that what they actually meant was that they had both apple cider and lattes. Boring. She was friendly, but I did notice the tone shift when someone who looked a little more "threatening" than me (although I like to think I'm terrifying) walked into the shop. Interesting, especially considering how down Mr. Fisher acts. Although he down-played it for the Times, Mr. Fisher seems to feel territorial about Franklin Avenue because his family owned the grocery store next door (Fisher's) in a time when:

"the area was so dangerous, you had to “duck and run” through the street.

“We used to have to replace the glass on our windows in the grocery store, maybe twice a month, from bullet holes,”

Am I supposed to admire him for his allegiance to this hood because, pre-gentrification, his family sold (and still sells) disgusting, horrible-quality, overpriced groceries to poor people who had no other options? He leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So does his coffee. P.S. I'm doing a grocery store round-up later this week, you'll see what I mean about Fisher's.

So then I was all gung-ho about Breukelen. Organic? Awesome. The barista/owner(?) behind the counter was as sweet as could be and model-gorgeous...not that it matters, but who doesn't like to look at pretty things? They were a touch more expensive than ol' Pulpy across the way, but I justified it because they're organic, natural, magical, yada yada. I want to hang out and be friends with the people who own it, work there and patronize. The problem - the coffee sucks given the price point, particularly in this neighborhood. If you're paying almost $4 for coffee here, it better be good - because the Yemeni deli coffee doesn't taste much different and they only charge 50 cents. Also, the window says they take credit cards (you can see it in the pic above) and they don't - that's a problem. Still, I'm pulling for Breukelen. C'mon, get better so you can take my money!!

There are two Dunkin' Donuts in the area, too - a really inferior one on Eastern Parkway and Bedford (it's attached to a gas station) and a better one on Eastern Parkway and Nostrand - but they're out of the way for most people dashing to get to the train in the morning.

For the sake of my sanity and productivity, I really need someone to step up their caffeine game!

1 comment:

  1. I got many laughs reading your post. I grew up in the lamest of lame hoods in Bklyn (Canarsie if you're wondering) but I haven't lived there since college. I live in (gasp) Queens now. There's no good coffee around my apt. Nothing. I feel your pain.

    ps: Mr Fisher sounds like an asshole.
    pps: Thanks for adding me to your blog list :)