Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back to Basics at Greenpoint Coffee House

Aside from Grumpy's (and Starbucks) the Greenpoint Coffee House is one of the the neighborhood's only coffee spots. I've known about it for years but since I rarely venture up Franklin Street past a block or two, I hadn't had the chance to go. So when I woke up one Sunday with a caffeine withdrawal headache and didn't feel like hiking to Grumpy's, I immediately thought of this place.

Once I walked in I was surprised to see how busy the place was. There's always a few people sitting outside, but I just assumed they were the only customers for some reason. The interior is simple with an old-timey corner coffee house feel, and the atmosphere is dingy in an old flea market kind of way. All the booths are round, like a corner seat at Denny's. I took a look at their menu and saw that it was reflective of their basic nature -- eggs, french toast, bagels, no huevos rancheros and nothing made up of more than a few ingredients.

I went up to the bar and ordered a plain hot coffee from a welcoming and friendly woman behind the counter. It was fragrant and creamy but not too strong, exactly the way I like it.

I went back a week or two later to get an iced coffee, hoping to have a similar experience. But instead of the nice counter lady, I had to fight to get the attention of two young hipsters who were far too busy to even answer my hello. They even left us holding out our $3 for way longer than was necessary. And the iced coffee wasn't even any good. I checked out some reviews online and saw that a lot of people were unsatisfied with their service. I immediately took this place out of the running for where to take my parents the next time they come to visit, which is too bad because I think they would have liked this place.

We ran into our landlady directly outside of this place during a walk a few nights ago. She was telling us that one of her tenants actually owns the place. If I ever meet him, I'll have to tell him to hire non-pretentious people if he wants to match the basic vibe he's going for. Keep up the great hot coffee, though.

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