4.18.2007

Cafe Grumpy

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!

Cafe Grumpy
224 West 20th Street
(btwn 7th & 8th Aves)
New York, NY
212-255-5511

193 Meserole Avenue
(at Diamond St.)
Brooklyn, NY
718-349-7623




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9 comments:

Chaden said...

L -
thanks for another entertaining post (great pics, too).

okay, i hate to be a debbie downer here, but as much as i enjoyed our outing i was WAY underwhelmed by the coffee. it had a bitter, acidic, almost burnt taste - did anyone else pick up on that? but sure, the milk decoration on top was cute.

i discovered gorilla coffee on a recent trip to brooklyn (yes - i actually left the island) and despite the slow service the latte was fantastic - deep and complex coffee with the perfect dose of hot milk. now i have to start visiting you more often just for a taste! and thanks again for the miriam rec - the israeli b'fast there is not to be missed.

- A

Anonymous said...

You're right, Cafe Grumpy is a great name! Thanks very much for this review, next time I'm in the area I'll definitely check this place out.

Ari (Baking and Books)

Jerry Allison said...

Oh a place to check out when I come to NYC in 3 months and sounds like a perfect place to me!!!

Boriqua said...

I LOVE their logo. I'll have to check it out next time I'm in town.

Lia said...

AC, I think Gorilla coffee is in my new neighborhood. I'll have to check it out once I'm all settled in. Thanks for the rec, and your expert analysis of Cafe Grumpy's coffee.

Thanks Ari! I think you'll like it.

Jerry Allison, it really is such a great spot.

Boriqua, we can take a trip there together the next time you visit Chelsea Market.

GreenChick said...

I always enjoy your blogs but this one was especially nice. I recently (1 year ago) moved down to FL from MI. The way you wrote about this nice little cafe made me miss the North greatly. Thanks for the beautiful photos and the warm memories they brought back.

Lia said...

Greenchick, I'm glad to hear you've been enjoying my blog. Florida must be nice, especially in the winter, but I'd miss the north too. You'll just have to come back and visit a lot!

aria said...

i heart latte designs so much!

sheela said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Sarah

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