Archive for August 24th, 2006

On West Houston between Mercer and Greene Streets lies a fab new espresso bar named Aroma Espresso Bar.  Irene wanted to get a drink before she went off to pack for Berkley, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to try this place, so off we went. 

wordpress shrunketh my photo

I walked by one day and saw humungo signs advertising the new space during its construction so I came back and googled it.  It turns out that Aroma is Israeli owned, and man, do they know their stuff.  They drove Starbucks out of business in Israel!  And we all know about Max Brenner.  Mmm.  According to Haaretz, an Israeli news source, Aroma transported its own employees to train the New Yorkers.  They’ve also changed the names of some items that may seem to controversial for today’s political times.  Either way, they have some good stuff.  What was suppose to be an espresso break turned into a whole meal.  But I guess that’s not much of a surprise to you, right?  I can’t seem to find the Haaretz article anymore so you can all read about how Starbucks has been driven out of Israel.  They blame it on the lack of marketing, but some say it’s because they couldn’t compete with Aroma and other coffee chains there.   [blames lack of marketing]

I ordered an Aroma coffee, which came with chocolate and whipped cream.  The chocolate at the bottom wasn’t completely melted [they stick a chocolate bar in the bottom I thin] so it just tasted like hot chocolate by the end.  Irene got the mocha cappucino – it was very chocolatey.  It was very pretty with all the different layers though.  I like how they give you pieces of chocolate on the sides [I gave mine to Irene since I don’t really like to eat chocolate]. 

 aroma coffee mocha
aroma coffee & mocha cappucino

I wanted to try the Bureka special [I think it was previously called the Iraqi sandwich].  It’s a sandwich made with pylo dough stuffed with hard boiled eggs, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.  I had mistaken the cheese for sauce, but I remember ths sign saying cheese so I guess that’s what the melted stuff on top of the tomato is.  I knew it definitely wasn’t mayo.  Whoever thought to put eggs and pickles together is a genius.  Pickles?  good.  Eggs?  good.  Together? Yum!  I was pleasantly surprised.  I would definitely order this again.  It’s like eating a crossant-wich in the afternoon.  Irene ordered an omelet sandwich; it was an egg omelet, with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo on whole wheat bread.  You get a choice of white bread, This sandwich was a bit harder to eat cuz the bread pieces were so big and the crusts were kind of hard.  I ripped off the bread and dipped it into my coffee- that wasn’t bad.  The ingredients in the sandwich with the big bread made it difficult to eat, but of course, this stuff never deters me.  The eggs were really fluffy- Irene thinks they used butter in their batter.  I would go with a switch in bread and more evenly distributed mayo.  Nonetheless, it was still a good sandwich.  Though, what’s up with only giving one piece of lettuce?

bureka   omelet

Since Irene was bringing an espresso machine to Berkley, and I just got one, we decided we should go buy us some espresso beans.  On our way to the shop, we saw a pink soon-to-be-opened place on St. Mark’s and went over to check it out.  I couldn’t get a full picture of the outside because there were other people standing in front taking pictures too.  Boo them.  The place, Bamn! is going to be a 24/7 vendor joint- meaning they have a whole bunch of food vendors in there and you go and get what you want and leave.  There’s no seating.  They plan to sell American/Asian finger foods for $1/$2 per serving.  Food vendors [with full meals] are actually very popular in Japan.  They even have them in food courts.  How do I know all this information on Bamn! even though it’s not opened yet?  Well, as Irene and I were standing outside chatting about how exciting this is, one of the guys who owns the place came out to give us an exclusive tour of the inside!  He wouldn’t let me take any pictures of the inside because they gave all the first-view rights to NYTimes and Time Out NY and such.  I was really disappointed when he said that it’s going to be American and some Asian finger foods.  I thought they were going to have a sit down area and have like chicken katsu or something.  When the guy said American finger food, I thought of chicken nuggets and Irene thought of fries.  Bleh.  They open next Tuesday for those of you who want to check it out.  I know I’ll be there. 

 ?  bamn

We spied something else on our way to the coffee bean shop.  In the window of the Black Hound pastry place, there was this lovely creature- chocolate teacup full of fresh berries. 


Finally, we reached our destination, the Porto Rico Importing Co.  Irene and I discovered this place one day on our way to sushi.  We finally have a chance to go in and not only look but to buy stuff!  It’s address is 40 1/2 e 8th.  How cute.  Their beans are pretty cheap too.  Irene and I both got half a pound of espresso and it was $3.50 each.  I got the Brazilian blend, which is suppose to be a lighter espresso and Irene got the French-Italian blend, which is suppose to be a lot stronger. 


Irene went home shortly after bean shopping and I went to get my nails done.  Jon and Daniel called me just as I finish and ask if I want dessert from Serendipity 3.  I wasn’t really in the mood for any of that stuff, but I went anyways. 


I didn’t know what I wanted so I ordered a fruit crepe with ice cream.  The crepe came with strawberries and bananas and tons of strawberry sauce.  The crepe was topped with vanilla ice cream.  I’m usually a fan of savory crepes over sweet crepes, but I do like my share of nutella and bananas.  The fruit weren’t bad but the sauce made things too sweet for me.  I had to neutralize flavors with the ice cream.  The vanilla wasn’t that great- I don’t remember where the vanilla was from but I know I’ve had it before.  I can’t explain it but it I guess it wasn’t vanilla-y enough for me.  The crepe was also burnt so I can say that I will not be having this any time soon- if ever again.  I normally order the Strawberry Fields Sundae but knew I couldn’t finish it.  The strawberry fields sundae has strawberry ice cream, cheesecake, real strawberries, with whipped cream.  Next time, I’ll stick with the classics.  The official staple, as we all know, is the frozen hot chocolate that Serendipity has even patented.  I think it just tastes like chocolate ice cream, but a lot of people seem to like it, ie. Daniel.  The two of them also got the Forbidden Broadway- it’s chocolate cake, fudge, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. 

 crepe frozen hot chocolate 
                                                   forbidden broadway

ack… what . to . do . with . self?  too . much . cho . co . late.

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