Living on the edge of Spanish Harlem, I often find myself lamenting the lack of local spots for drinks, brunch, and just hanging out. However, I am discovering of late that I am much mistaken. The East Harlem Cafe is one of those cute little places that stares you in the face as you march off to work every day - you see it but rush past. Fortunately for me, I have a friend who is keyed in to these little spots and raved about the Cafe until I finally stopped in for a coffee....and kept going back.
The Cafe is a perfect mix of great coffee and food, with a homegrown charm you don't see very often anymore. The art is all local, celebrating the area, and a rack of books in the corner just begs you to pick one up and settle into the couch with a cup of coffee. We sat down for brunch this past Sunday, around noon and watched a steady stream of people come and go for the next two hours. It's the perfect balance of to-go coffees and pastries and those of us who come to hang out; always busy but there's usually an open seat to be had (no waiting in line for a table at brunch!).
Not only do they make a killer mocha latte, they also have a wide range of delicious pastries, make a great BLT, Waldorf Salad, and the BEST wholewheat pancakes i've ever had. This is a big deal because I don't like wholewheat pancakes, being a dedicated member of the buttermilk camp. Yesterday, I was feeling something different and their pancakes get rave reviews, so I went for it with a simple order of plain, wholewheat pancakes.
The result was an amazingly healthy feeling, filling, and delicious stack of three, fluffy cakes, topped with whipped cream, powdered sugar, and strawberries.
|Banana-Pecan Wholewheat stack - gorgeous no?|
The Cafe also offers banana-pecan pancakes, which my friend ordered and declared fantastic.
Go check it out!