Open for about two weeks, Red Cup CafÃ© (400 W. Fairmount Ave., 267-773-7812) is brewing Italian coffee and espresso in NoLibs, right down the street from the recently opened Lafayette Bistro. Sicily native Marjola Como, who's been in the States for about four years with her husband Rick, owns the spot. They're doing Miscela d'Oro drip coffee and Le Cafferia espresso, the latter of which has a brick-and-mortar base here in Philly. They're carrying Bindi desserts (that's a purveyor, not the 13th Street restaurant) and also offer a small selection of panini with Italian meats (slicer on the premises).
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
|Photo | James Saul|
The one-two of coffee and beer couldnï¿½t be more perfect, and Wolaverï¿½s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter takes this unity to an organic, fair-trade (and granola-tastic) level. The beer earns its name from Alta Gracia farm in the Dominican Republic, a fair-trade outlet that produces the beans used during brewing. In addition to the coffee, vanilla bean (also organic) shifts this porter over to the sweeter side, with a massive malty finish derived from a combination of roasted barely and chocolate malts. Serve Alta Gracia Porter with chocolate chip pancakes for a delicious breakfast treat, or pair it with something rich and savory like a curry or stew.
Jamie Lokoff of MilkBoy Recordings just touched base with Meal Ticket to share some details on a planned Center City branch of his MilkBoy coffeehouse/live music venue, which has locations in Ardmore and Bryn Mawr. (He'll present to the Washington Square West Civic Association this evening.)
Lokoff says he was approached by development firm U3, which is looking to revitalize the stretch of Center City they refer to as "the hole in the doughnut" ï¿½ historically, there hasn't been a whole lot going on around this stretch, but that's changing rapidly. "We toyed with the idea of Northern Liberties, and up on Broad Street," says Lokoff, "but ultimately we liked this because it's right in the middle." Situated on the southwest corner of 11th and Chestnut in a currently vacant property, MilkBoy Center City will feature two floors ï¿½ coffeehouse/dining seat on the ground, with a 100-or-so-head space for performances upstairs. there will be full bars on both floors. An larger kitchen with a hood will means they'll be able to expand their food offerings quite a bit.
As this project is still in the very early stages, Lokoff will commit only to "spring" for a projected debut, though he says he'd love to open before local colleges let out for the summer.
This Sunday will see the grand opening of Bella Sera Cafï¿½, a new vegan-friendly coffee house at 2146 E. Susquehanna Avenue (corner of Susq and Frankford) in Fishtown. Owner Renee Fuchs attended culinary school briefly before entering the non-profit world with Pew Charitable Trusts. When she delved into veganism she became frustrated that there were very few places in Center City to get her fix (she's a self-described "sweet freak"), so she decided to leave Pew to open her own place.
Bella Sera will be doing organic/fair-trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and they'll be carrying a "robust line" of products from the very popular Vegan Treats. (Read Felicia D's interview with VT founder Danielle Konya.) There will also be some snacky stuff from Alternative Baking Company. Fuchs says all her plates, coffee cups, straws, etc. will be made of 100 percent compostable material.
The space, which accommodates around 16, will open to the public on Oct. 25 with a grand opening celebration from noon to 3 p.m.
|Courtesy of Hub Bub
Drew Crockett's Hub Bub Coffee truck, which'll begin pouring Stumptown coffee at the corner of 38th and Spruce tomorrow morning, got its finishing touches earlier today. (We had all the info for you this morning.) Hit up the jump for a few peeks at the big red machine.
|Courtesy of Hub Bub|
This Tuesday will see the launch of Hub Bub Coffee, a new cart at 38th and Spruce aiming to tweak West Philly out with a selection of high-end java. The brains behind the mobile operation is Philly native Drew Crockett, a former Deutsche Bank employee who spent more than $45K tricking out an old lunch truck with top-of-the-line barista ware, from Fetco coffeemakers and a La Marzoco espresso machine to stainless steel fixtures and a water filtration system. Hub Bub will be brewing beans from Stumptown, the lauded roaster out of Portland, Oregon; they'll also be pouring iced coffee and chai, tea and lemonade. Snacks will include cinnamon rolls, cookies and muffin tops (yea, the tops!), plus Rice Krispy-type deals from Pub & Kitchen.* Prices will start out at $1.50 for a 12-ounce house brew.
Hub Bub, which'll be sharing info on Twitter, will be pouring Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Crockett, a UPenn grad, knows his audience ï¿½ during exams, he plans to stay open till 1 a.m.
* NOTE: This post has been corrected ï¿½ P&K will provide only Rice Krispy treats for Hub Bub, with the rest of the baked goods coming from other purveyors.
Drop by Anthony's in the Italian Market (903 S. Ninth St.) tomorrow morning from 9:30 to 11:30, when they'll be giving out free cups of coffee in celebration of National Coffee Day. The 10! Show's Justin Pizzi will file a segment from the cafï¿½ at this time, too. Then for the rest of the day, owner Anthony Anastasio and Co. will be offering all sorts of special java-laden treats, from gelato and coffee-imbued chocolate pretzels to desserts like tiramisu. Our hands are shaking already.
Rebecca Michaels' Flying Monkey Deuce (1112 Locust St.), a Wash West extension of her Flying Monkey Patisserie in Reading Terminal Market, opens to the public today at 8 a.m.
Michaels is keeping it simple for her new venture, in a space that's housed a number of coffee shops in the past ï¿½ she'll do a selection of sweets and baked goods straight from her RTM hub, plus La Colombe coffee/espresso and Remedy tea. (The display cases are empty in the pics above because we came through this past Friday, shortly before a welcome reception.) Michaels wants to do sandwiches and soups, too, but that won't happen right away.
On the west side of the property sits a spacious sheltered patio/courtyard area, with some seating, adjacent to a garden on Locust Street. Though it probably won't get much use in the winter months, Michaels says her landlord has long-term plans to actually extend the building out over this outdoor space, a renovation that would more than double the square footage of the cute but narrow interior.
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Java geeks, take note: Late next week, Aaron Ultimo of Brew (1900 S. 15th St., 215-339-5177) gets in a shipment of beans from Hacienda La Esmeralda, the Panamanian coffee growers that many consider to be among the premier producers in the world. (The stuff's discussed at length in Michaele Weissman's 2008 book God in a Cup.)
Ultimo, whose first batch flew last week, characterizes HLE's beans as "dynamic" and "complex," and this dude knows his coffee, so it's right we take notice. The catch is that this stuff is expensive ï¿½ $30 per 8-ounce bag if you pre-order (contact Brew for that) or $5 per cup ï¿½ but Ultimo notes that the price tag does well in adding to the mystique.
PREVIOUSLY: First look at Brew/Ultimo Coffee
Mugshots Coffee House, which has locations in both Manayunk and Fairmount, started its local food buying club just over two years ago. Co-owner Angie Vendetti says the idea sprouted from the scary thought of Manayunk-area residents not having a reliable source of locally grown food. "Most of our [Manayunk] customers are people that work there, as well," says Vendetti, "so it seemed like a really good option for picking up food Friday afternoons for the weekend."
Every Sunday afternoon, registered members grab an order form off the cafï¿½'s Web site, and have until Tuesday to pick and choose from an array of local farm-fresh products. Orders are filled by the approaching weekend, with the option of picking up at either cafï¿½. Non-members have access to a limited lineup of in-store choices, but you'll have to enroll to gain access to the full selection of meats, dairy and veggies, as well as treats like garlic parmesan baguettes, coffee crumbcake rice pudding and Mugshots' own chocolate chip banana bread.
The primary purpose of the club, Vendetti says, is to promote the benefits of buying locally to those who aren't deeply engaged in the movement. "About 10 percent of our customer base is super loyal, and is going to go out of their way to buy something local or fair-trade," she says. "Half will buy occasionally, but wouldnï¿½t go out of their way, and the other 40 percent donï¿½t really know whatï¿½s going on. The club is to engage more people like that.ï¿½
For more good eats sponsored by Mugshots, stop by City Hall on Wednesdays between 11 to 3 during the growing season for the Farm To City farmers market, where Mugshots has a stand offering organic food and drink.
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