Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Don't mess with perfection

There is a perfect coffee shop, and I know this will come as a great surprise, but it's not in Princeton. Nothing against the coffee shop in Princeton, which is 500x as wonderful as it needs to be. But the one I'm talking about is the new La Colombe, on 4th and Lafayette. Why perfect?

-Great coffee (I've had the iced, cold-brew, I believe, which comes with a shot of espresso, as well as the cappuccino).

-Great croissants, pastries. (Who is their supplier, and where do I order in bulk?)

-An elegant water-spout set-up including all the seltzer you can drink, free. This is huge.

-Seating, as in actual seats. As opposed to the unwieldiness of getting a croissant at Payard, a coffee at Third Rail, and sitting in Washington Square Park.

-An honest-to-goodness bathroom. Which is to say, there is one - hardly a given in such places - and it has soap (I'm looking at you, Think circa 2007).

-Hipsters make your coffee. Scruffily beautiful ones, who no doubt arrived via skateboard.

-The clientele is made up exclusively of supermodels and NYU grad students. The NYU grad students, at least, aren't complaining.

OK, so maybe it's not 100% perfect. The baked goods, though not expensive, don't have prices marked. Nor, now that I think of it, do the coffee drinks, which are also if anything sub-Starbucks-priced. But as goes along with that ambiguity, many customers casually toss a bill or two into the tip jar, making those of us who haven't gotten on the $2.50-coffee-drink-means-dollar-tip bandwagon feel awfully stingy, especially after we've just gotten through asking how much it'll be for that cookie. ($3, for the record, but it's meal-replacement huge and delicious.) And there's always a huge line, not cramped but wrapped around the massive espresso bar, such that you want to be sure you have half an hour to spare to admire the fashionable patrons, and aren't, you know, in a hurry to get a coffee. (For that, there's Oren's.) But yeah, it's pretty wonderful.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

The seltzer is the key. Once in a while you find a shop that gives you a little cup of sparking water if you order a straight espresso drink. But to have a fountain of the stuff...

Seltzer squatters will soon be the new WiFi squatters