Sunday, January 12, 2014

Curbside Cafe

This morning I woke up to pouring rain and little interest to leave my bed. But soon enough, my desire for a morning cup of coffee took over, so I put on my boots and walked down the street to Curbside Cafe.

You may recognize the little cupcake-on-wheels logo from the Curbside Cupcake truck driving around town. The truck was so successful that the owners decided to create a brick-and-mortar location to bake all the tiny cakes and to keep up with demand. On the first floor of the shop you'll find a quaint cafe, while downstairs is where all the baking is done.

I heard that Curbside made in-house poptarts, like Ted's Bulletin, and have been dying to try them out to compare. As I walked in, the lady behind the counter greeted me simply and seemed very down-to-earth. In cities, cafes often take themselves (and their coffee) a bit too seriously, and forget that an important part of any neighborhood coffee shop is a friendly and welcoming face. I felt very-much at home at Curbside.

I immediately started snapping pictures while deciding what kind of poptart to try (for sweet, they had strawberry, apple crisp, and Nutella, while for savory they had spinach and gruyere, two different pizza flavored selections, PB&J, and bacon, egg, and cheese) obviously I ended up trying one savory and one sweet.

While I was snapping pictures the woman said, "so, are you gonna make me famous?" We shared a laugh and then she asked if she could get a coffee started for me. I told her I was a coffee blogger of some sorts, and she began to tell me all about the beans they use, while whipping her bow joking that this time around she better make the best cappuccino she's ever made.

For the coffee, Curbside uses locally roasted beans from Vigilante Coffee based in Northeast DC. The woman mentioned that the roaster made a special blend for the shop which is supposed to be sweet enough to drink with a cupcake, without being too strong or harsh to overpower the pastry. She wanted a cup of coffee that was easy to drink every day. For the espresso beverages, however, Curbside uses another type of bean... but I forget what kind. Some coffee blogger I am.

By the time she told me all about this special Vigilante blend, I had already ordered a cappuccino, but you can bet next time I will definitely try the drip coffee. The cappuccino came out extra hot, but just cool enough not to burn your tongue, which is good because I can't stand when I burn my tongue on the first sip. The espresso flavor was easy and very present, though I wish the foam had been thicker and more defined. Hopefully that will come with time.

Now for the poptarts. It's almost hard to compare them to Ted's because they are honestly so different. I think Ted's grasps the traditional flavor and consistency of a dense, traditional poptart a bit more, while Curbside's are more like a filled puff pastry. I started off with the savory spinach, egg, and gruyere. I loved the puff pastry outside, but I wish it had a bit less egg and more spinach and cheese. It tasted very much like a quiche. Next time I'd ask for it heated, I think it would amp up the flavor a bit. I do love that Curbside offers savory poptart selections - something Ted's does not.

Moving onto the sweet pastry, it was yummy, but nothing to write home about. It was pretty standard, the jam inside felt flat and not very fresh (which actually gave the feeling of eating real store-bought poptart, for better or worse.)  Next time I visit, I think I will stick to the savory poptarts and maybe try a cupcake or chocolate croissant for something sweet!

Overall, Curbside Cafe is a wonderful edition to Southeast DC. It's simple, convenient, and has a wonderful down-to-earth vibe. It's a place to meet the neighbors or grab a bite to eat. I'm excited to go back again to try the Vigilante coffee and see how it compares!

1 comment:

  1. Love this blog! Vigilante is by far my favorite in town, next to Peregrine. For the best brew, get it from their booth in the flea market at Eastern Market or the pop-up shop in Mt. Vernon Square. Happy caffeinating! And I'll see you at November Project when I'm back in DC this summer. : )


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