Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 2: 2nd Cup Cafe

After a night of mayhem, JKwon took me to 2nd Cup Cafe in Allston for brunch, a couple blocks down from her apartment. It's a Mediterranean cafe that sells a wide assortment of tea and coffee, ranging from mocchacinos and cafe au laits to Wu-Wei Green Gunpowder and Blue Flower MEM Exotic teas. You can also order silk infusions and espresso shots, if that's up your alley. Homemade simmered soups, such as Lentil and Split Pea and Brazilian Black Bean, made my mouth water. A kids' menu aptly titled "Happy Kids, Happy Moms" offers grilled cheese, PB&J and other childhood classics. I'll definitely come back for a second assessment!

I loved the bright mustard and sienna walls and the homey decor (green long-leafed floppy plants graced the seating area). The definition of hospitality was painted on one wall, and the bathroom was stocked with Trader Joe's Lavender & Chamomile hand soap (sounds like it would work as a calming tea, too).

JKwon ordered the reliable ham and egg sandwich and an Americano, which is basically "watered-down coffee," while I opted for the chicken curry roll-up (huge!) and a small chai latte. Mmm..the chai latte was a steamy, milky delight of frothiness, not too sweet but with a slightly bitter, bark edge at the end of a long sip.

Overheard: "Did you know that Starbucks uses syrup in their chai lattes?"

Actually, Starbucks (and a whole bunch of other coffee shops) use flavored syrups and premade mixes in their coffees and teas. Makes me think twice about visiting Starbucks out of convenience (AKA laziness). I'll suck it up and brew my own pot of Indian chai, thank you very much!

My curry chicken roll-up was comprised of an aromatic blend of herbs and spices -- key word was tangy, not spicy. Lettuce, cucumbers, diced apples and sunflower seeds drenched in a nutty dressing complemented the roll-up, adding the perfect mix of tart, zesty and crunch to every bite.

Hospitality: n. 1. The virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain persons who are not in need of food and lodging. Sums up 2nd Cup Cafe's mission statement. They aim to serve, and they do it right. And with free Wi-Fi, it's easy to pull out your laptop and get work done while basking in the warm glow of the sun through the glass windows facing the front.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. It's hard to find anything wrong about this place, except maybe for the tight placement of the tables and chairs, which was a tad snug. Also, my curry chicken roll-up was messy to eat, so I wouldn't suggest it for a date. Otherwise, energetic vibe, thoughtful interior design, friendly service, excellent food and drinks = happy Sarah!

2nd Cup Cafe
111 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

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