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Feb 2, 2009 11:16 AM

Decent americano near Carroll Gardens?

Hi. Where can I get a decent americano in or near Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn? Not only a good shot of espresso, but a place that knows how to make an americano as well? Thanks.

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  1. Well, I might as well respond to my own post. Why not? I had one at Sweet Melissa's yesterday. It was drinkable. It was OK. Better than some shameless slop I've had at other places. But still searching for better. I'm starting to think that Americanos are the stepchild of the espresso drinks. Many places don't even list them and I often get asked "how much water do I want with that?" Huh? Aren't they supposed to know that? I am, after many hard knocks, starting to learn the answer to that, but unless someone has a particular unusual preference, shouldn't the barista know how much water to add?

    My husband's very much into espresso and has perfected them at home with his reconditioned (himself!) Olympia Cremina. In deference to my wimpy pallet, he's also developed a wonderful Americano, though I image purists frown upon the whole idea of it, and perhaps anything other than straight espresso. Anyway, I'm not looking for his level of heavenliness, just a decent cafe Americano.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Nomi L

      I would recommend Frankie's 457 for espresso--don't know about their abilities with Americano. They have great baristas and they use Stumptown Coffee (which will soon open its own roastery/cafe) in Red Hook. But I don't know if they're open in the mornings.
      Other than that, the area is a coffee wasteland until you get to Williamsburg (Gimme Coffee--also located on Mott St.)

      1. re: BGRose

        Haven't tried one yet, but Clover Cafe on Atlantic uses Intelligentsia beans and has a beautiful Marzocco machine.

        They also use a Clover machine for their "drip" coffee, which may be something you might like as an alternative for an americano.

        1. re: lambretta76

          Oh, yeah -- I didn't even bother asking about a good regular drip. Kind of given up around here? There is D'Amico's whose beans we buy and usually like. I love D'Amico's in many ways. But .. . . . well, they're not that careful with their brewed coffee.

          1. re: Nomi L

            I'm not a coffee drinker, but my DH, who is, swears that the brewed coffee at Caputo's bakery is much better than that at D'amicos. (tho he loves the red hook blend at d'amico's.) So if you're in the nabe, try caputo's sometime. I'm not claiming that it's amazing or anything, just apparently v good for brewed coffee.

            Another option is to get a cafe con leche from the domincian place on smith. DH also says that is not bad.

            As for a cafe americano, when i first lived in Rome 20 years ago there was no such thing. Then it started catching on for american tourists who couldn't stomach espresso. But I imagine it's not standardized, since it's usually just espresso with more water, isn't it?

            1. re: missmasala

              For what it's worth I have always preferred the coffee at Caputo's bakery (the one at Court and Sackett, not the Caputo's Deli farther down Court) over D'amico's. They don't have espresso drinks, though, at least not when I was last there.

              Others that might be worth a try - I don't drink Americanos but these are places whose lattes didn't make me run away in horror)
              - tea lounge (for location)
              - $tarbucks (though I'm sure you thought of that - I don't like it, but they do serve coffee)
              - Ted & Honey (Clinton at Verandah Place, near the park)
              - Tazza (not CG, but not too far at Atlantic/Henry)
              - One Girl Cookies might make one for you if they take a minute break from being snooty.

              1. re: cazique

                We do D'Amico for beans, the taste of the old neighborhood, and support of local merchants, but agree that except for Frankie's (which doesn't open until 11 AM) with its Stumptown offerings, what's available OTC is not ideal. When Stumptown retail opens in Margaret Palca's space at Warren and Court, this situation will improve. Till then, Nomi, can't you get your domestic barista to leave you a cup each morning?

                1. re: courtwatcher

                  Ha! He does. But sometimes that's not enough . . . . Thanks for all these answers. I will try Caputo's bakery for now. Have never had their coffee.

                2. re: cazique

                  One girl makes a lovely latte. I am sure their Americano is good too. And the server I had yesterday was very nice. It was my first time there and I will go back for sure.

          2. re: BGRose

            Frankies does do a nice Americano.

        2. You should try Root Hill.... not Carroll Gardens but Carroll Street and 4th Avenue. I am addicted to their cappuccino. They use Counter Culture Coffee and also have a Clover Coffee Machine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: savoryhash

            Reporting: Thank you! Went to Root Hill today and it was lovely. I had an Americano which was wonderful, and my husband had a cup made with the Clover machine -- excellent. Nice, friendly place too. A real pleasure.

            1. re: Nomi L

              Hi. Just want to add: Have been to Root Hill several times since and have had their regular brewed coffee. It is very good too. A small is $1.50, so you do not have to spend over $3 to get a Clover coffee to get a good one. Nice place. They really care.

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