An institution of all coffee shops in NYC, the “Lower East Side Coffee Shop” says it all. I love this shop, and pretty much all “Original” and “True” New Yorkers love this place or at least know of it. What I love the most aside from the price, is that it is completely unchanged and in keeping with the “Coffee Shop” tradition.
When you walk into this java hub, you are taken back to a vintage era. An age of leather booths for four and tables for two. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and breakfast foods, that get your taste-buds going, fills the air. The staff is professional and seasoned and probably have been at this coffee emporium since its establishment.
My favorite time to visit is early morning. There is nothing better than listening to “WBGO DJ” Gary Walker spinning timeless Jazz classics over a hot cup of coffee. That first sip of coffee with the anticipation of my favorite breakfast is what I like to call “Great Expectations” as the early morning stress melts away. Every once and while, you can relive your youth, watching a young guy make an ass out of himself to impress his date after a night out on the town.
What makes early morning special, is you get to see both sides of the city. The night time crowd retiring and the early risers beginning their day. Either way this place removes the weight of the world off of you, for however long it takes to down a cup of coffee or a bowl of oatmeal.
The “Lower East Side Coffee Shop” is open 24 hours a day and believe me, I have been there all hours of the day and evening. From a night of hard partying with friends to actually meeting first dates. The “Lower East Side Coffee Shop” is truly a great spot to start your day or end your evening. It is a staple in the realm of the “Coffee Institution”.
In the over-crowded Washington avenue section just south of Atlantic ave Brooklyn, there is a little slice of breakfast heaven called the “Penny House Cafe”. As soon as you walk into this hidden gem of a coffee shop/cafe, you are greeted by an aroma of coffee and a menagerie of pastries which tantalize all of your olfactory senses.
The menu had a ton of delectable items on it. Since this was my first time in this establishment, I carefully studied each item, trying to decide which was best, to match my palette’s craving. Everything was so tempting and then it jumped right out at me. The three cheese omelette with American Cheese, Swiss Cheese, and Sharp Cheddar, all encapsulated in one of my favorites, the “Everything” bagel. I placed my order with the server behind the counter and was told to grab a seat.
Just as I sat down, I literally only waited about two minutes(original New Yorkers don’t like to be kept waiting more than five minutes) and the server already brought my sandwich over to me which was completely overstuffed. That’s what an original “New Yorker” like myself and all others truly relish, good food and fast service. As I took my first bite, I tasted the perfect melding of the three cheeses along with the seasoning that our chef flavored the eggs with. Flavoring of the eggs is a very important quality everyone should look for when visiting specific breakfast eateries. The bagel was a “New York” bagel, considering “New York” bagels are the best, that was an added bonus to the medley of tastes that danced across my tongue as I was getting ready to take another bite.
In between each succulent bite I took a few sips of some very good brew. I asked the server what kind of coffee I was drinking and he said a combination of a “La Colombe Coffee Torefiction” and La Colombe Nizza Espresso”. The perfect way to wash down a breakfast delight that I completely devoured in a “New York” minute and yet still enjoyed each bite to the fullest.
If you are in a rush or if you are looking to sit down and enjoy a hardy breakfast pleasure, head over to the “Penny House Cafe” you won’t be disappointed. Make sure you tell them Dave Jacobs sent you.
The Penny House Cafe
732 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Earlier this morning I was at a cozy diner in Brooklyn on Utica Ave. I am sure all of my readers have passed by it once in their lifetime. Utica is a main street that pretty much runs all the way through Brooklyn going North and South. I have driven by it for a long time myself and I just never had the time to go in and partake, except for today. When you drive by Mike’s Diner, it’s tiny, you could miss it, even though it’s on the corner of Utica and Winthrop. However, when you go inside, it lives up to the cozy ambiance you would expect from an old-school diner, especially when being greeted at the door by Michelle, one of the servers.
I ordered my usual breakfast standard, two eggs up, bacon, home-fries, and coffee. Now I know what you are thinking, any diner can do that and do it well, however, not every diner can serve it well. I was in there during the heart of the rush and Michelle who was my server didn’t miss a beat. She took my order and at the same time she was pouring my coffee she offered me a shot of vitamin “C” (Orange Juice in case you don’t know). She is a true professional at what she does, especially when she brought my order out which was piping hot.
The food itself was good, as stated earlier, my order came out piping hot and I didn’t have to wait long at all. The coffee was fresh and the eggs were good, the bacon and home-fries were delicious. Mike’s Diner is a breakfast cooking machine and definitely prides themselves on return business because they have me as a repeat customer for future dining experiences.
What sets Mike’s apart from every other diner out there is the service and the cleanliness. Mike’s dining staff is truly exceptional at what they do, from the chef in the back to the people upfront. Head over to Mike’s when you have a moment for breakfast and ask for Michelle, she will take care of you and make you feel like you are the only one in the restaurant.
630 Utica Ave, Brooklyn NY 11203
It was around 9:30 in the morning on a Wednesday, I was walking down 5th ave, in “The City” (Manhattan in case you don’t know) and I was absolutely famished. I wanted breakfast and I am not talking about a “McMuffin” or something from one of the many “Deli and Grill” places that camp out on every corner of this vast and limitless city of ours. I want to sit down and enjoy for a change. I came upon an inviting establishment named “Belgian Beer Cafe”. I have been by this place many times during the afternoon and evening and it’s always packed, however, I have never been by this early and wouldn’t you know it, they had a nice little sign out front saying “We Serve Breakfast”, which is just what I needed to see.
As soon as I walked through the door, the atmosphere was tranquil and I was greeted by a friendly and delightful staff member. She sat me in a great spot, right next to the window, where I was able to observe what was going on outside from a peaceful distance. The aesthetics were very pleasing and charming. The music was at a perfect volume. I was so relaxed as I sipped my delicious coffee, I forgot all about ordering.
The server came over to me and was ready to take my order. I ordered the “Grand Belge”. This was off their complete breakfast section of the menu, which comes with eggs any style, brioche french toast, bacon, side salad, french fries and already scrumptious coffee. Let me just say the “Grand Belge” was awesome. The eggs were cooked to perfection, the bacon was a delicate crisp, the brioche french toast was fluffy, the side salad was refreshing and the french fries were delightful to say the very least.
The service was very good, my cup was always filled without even asking, and the server was very professional and courteous, which is rare these days during breakfast time. After I finished my meal, the server cleared my place and there was no rushing me out at all, it was a come in a stay for a while fulfillment.
This was truly a wonderful dining experience during the breakfast hour and I definitely recommend this restaurant to all of my readers. The “Belgian Beer Cafe” does breakfast Monday through Friday 8 to 11 am. They are located at 220 5th avenue at the corner of 26th street. Tell them Dave Jacobs from “You Me NYC” sent you over.