For weeks, my friend Doug has been raving about Cafe Grumpy, a Brooklyn-based coffee shop that recently opened its second location in Chelsea. You might remember that Doug designed the precious little piglet for this site. He also gave me about half the music on my Ipod. Actually, come to think of it, he's the one who made me get an Ipod. And DVR. We usually see eye to eye on food and resaturants. So, is it any surprise that I am now a huge fan of Cafe Grumpy too?
The cafe's curmudgeonly logo reminds me of my favorite AOL instant messenger icon, you know, the one that looks like he's screaming? Every time I look at either of them, I can't help but smile. And maybe that's the point? Plus, Cafe Grumpy? Great name.
Smack in the middle of a Chelsea side street, you'd expect to find this place in Seattle, Portland or San Francisco. It's small and cozy with just a few tightly packed tables and for under $4, you can get a fancy cup of frothy coffee. Made with organic milk, only. Hip hip hooray! You can also ask anyone behind the counter a million coffee-related questions and rather than grunt at you grumpily, they'll happily talk on and on and on.
Even if I have tried cupping, I'm still no coffee connoisseur. In fact, just a drop or two is plenty. Any more and I get shaky, which is just another reason why Cafe Grumpy is the perfect place for me.
My decaf cafe mocha came with a velvety mountain of milk that was thick and scoopable. There was even a pretty design. I mean, could this place get any better? It was just what I needed after a filling Shake Shack lunch (where I swapped my usual burger for a Second-City Wurst, a chicken and apple sausage with 8 toppings).
Doug ordered a macchiato, an espresso that's marked with just a dollop of milk.
Here's Alexandra displaying her lovely caffe latte. She can talk coffee better than I can, so I'll leave a more detailed review to her.
Karlyn has a baby on the way, so she also ordered a decaf cafe mocha, and Mark ordered a plain, old cup of coffee. No froth, no fancy design. But this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning those two.
For those who like to linger, Cafe Grumpy serves their coffee in cheerful ceramic mugs, a welcome relief from all those places that insist on doubling up cardboard cups.
My only complaint? Milky coffee is best when extra hot. Cafe Grumpy's was a little on the warm side. Aside from that, it was a wonderful way to end a long Friday lunch with a group of very fun friends.
Thanks Doug for the great tip and all the gorgeous photos!
224 West 20th Street
(btwn 7th & 8th Aves)
New York, NY
193 Meserole Avenue
(at Diamond St.)