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Crema, new coffe house in Harvard Square

c
carolinekrantz Apr 27, 2008 05:59 PM

In Harvard Square today, stumbled into “soft-opening” day of the new coffee house mentioned on this board a few weeks ago, It’s called Crema, on Brattle Square (it used to be Au Bon Pain)

The use terroir coffee; I had an espresso and my DC had a double shot cappuccino, 2% dry.; both very nicely presented, both were excellent coffee experiences.

I had an apple scone, ham and cheese croissant and a macaroon; DC dug into a pear muffin and fruit/yoghurt—great late breakfast--all the baked goods we tasted were light, and very good. Also tasted their lemonade, which was truly fine, flavored with ginger—we’ve seen a lot of griping about lousy lemonade recently, this was positively great!

The space is attractive, with exposed brick walls, lots of wood, calm colors and a few attractive photographs (apparently taken by George Howells himself); there’s an upstairs balcony for longer sitting sessions and stools on the main floor for briefer refueling visits.

It looks like it will be a real addition to the local coffee scene.

  1. i
    iamkindofabigdeal May 6, 2008 10:27 AM

    Crema is such a welcome addition to neighborhood that has become over run with chains. I have been a couple times already, and have been impressed each and every time. The coffee is excellent (as well as the Yerba Mate Latte!), well trained baristas really make the espresso live up to it's Crema namesake, the latte art designs are a nice touch as well.

    I was also really impressed with the sandwiches the Grilled chicken is excellent, it is made with a Cotija Corn spread, which is truly amazing. The cuban was also very good.

    The decor is also gorgeous a really well thought out space, and nice finishes. Skylights are a nice touch.

    Props to the Crema crew for developing a nice concept and churning out quality food in their first week!

    1. j
      jajjguy May 4, 2008 04:30 PM

      Two big coffee snobs agree: excellent espresso, excellent coffee. Up there with Simon's.

      1. w
        wrenhunter May 3, 2008 03:22 PM

        I ate here today. Very nice chicken sandwich on Iggy's sandwich bread, and two tasty espressos. Good service, too.

        1. Dea May 1, 2008 11:10 AM

          Well, we finally made it in for takeout lunch today. I got the Cuban and a Ginger Cookie; my friend and coworker got the Curried Chicken sandwich.

          The Cuban was well-assembled and perfectly pressed, but light on the ingredients. I had a Cuban at the Garden at the Cellar last week which was overflowing with what was probably house-roasted pork and excellent ham, so the paucity of same in this sandwich really stood out in contrast. Also, the sandwich maker had a heavy hand with the mustard.

          My friend said the curry was mild to nearly nonexistent in her chicken salad sandwich, and her sandwich was on the smaller side as well. She compained about the size relative to the $6.00 price. Still, the bread was toasted (nice touch) and she ate the whole thing.

          My ginger cookie was awesome though - huge and gingery, and not overly sweet. I will definitely go back and try other items. The salads looked especially inviting, and there were other gorgeous-looking desserts (the "Birthday Cupcake" with colored sprinkles was totally calling to me). I just wish their sandwiches were a little more substantial.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dea
            voodoocheese May 1, 2008 02:47 PM

            I actually went back again today to get the Cuban- they were out of baguettes, so instead I got the turkey and jarlsberg on light rye. I know it's a matter of preference, but I like that there isn't a huge amount of meat on the sandwich- when I get a Cuban that's heavy on the meat, I'm never impressed; I like the crispy bread to meat ratio to be pretty equal. The turkey was good, but the jarlsberg spread was heavy on the onions.. not my fave.

          2. j
            Jardinia Apr 30, 2008 10:50 AM

            I just made a post to the broader board about Crema being open, likely it will be moved here... check it out. All good news so far, and a welcome addition to Harvard Square!

            1. voodoocheese Apr 29, 2008 06:09 PM

              Today Crema was officially open- I stopped by around lunchtime and got a ham and cheese croissant and a lemon curd filled cupcake. They were both yummy, but unfortunately when I went back for dinner to try the Cuban- they were only serving drinks... I'll report back as soon as I try the sandwiches, I just wish they would post some hours!

              1. voodoocheese Apr 28, 2008 05:28 PM

                I got a peek at the menu a couple of weeks ago.. I am super stoked about the sandwiches! There will be a Cuban sandwich (YES!) and something like turkey and jarlsberg- and I'm pretty sure there was a Nutella and banana sandwich on there too! I can't wait for them to open, the prices look fairly reasonable- I get a new lunch place!
                Has anyone else noticed the sign for the Market that will be opening on Church St nearby? It says it will be 24 hours!

                1. w
                  winedude Apr 28, 2008 07:55 AM

                  This place is owned and run by the daughter of the people who own/run Flat Patties. I had a great chat with the owner of Flat Patties, and he told me about the care they're putting into the selection of coffees and the making of pastries at this new place. Given how great Flat Patties is, I can't wait to try it.

                  1. a
                    autopi Apr 27, 2008 07:58 PM

                    oh that's fantastic news, thanks for posting this. i only hope the place doesn't get so overrun by kids that you can't find a seat!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: autopi
                      b
                      beacon_hill_boy Apr 27, 2008 09:36 PM

                      Are you kidding? That's a Ground Zero for Harvard Square - it will be crowded always (seating for 84.)

                      1. re: beacon_hill_boy
                        a
                        autopi Apr 27, 2008 09:57 PM

                        yes i know, that's my worry.

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