Coffeehouses on LI update
OK, this is something I do once a year or so--mentioning coffee places on Long Island. The focus of the list is on places where coffee is the center of what the place is about, not on a club that happens to serve coffee along with jazz, or places that are closer to restaurants (where non-coffee items are the main sellers).
The newer places (at least, new to me).
Main Street Coffee in Bay Shore (inside the Drew Patrick Spa, 128 west main street): A relatively minimalist place: a couple of soups, some packaged sandwiches/salads, plus a nice-looking assortment of muffins and cookies (made there? Once source I read says so). The usual assortment of coffee drinks. Competently made espresso, which is an important thing to me. The tables are right near a fountain, and it's proven to be one of the most relaxing places around to have a cup.
Massapequa Perk: on my list for last year, but less than a year and a half old. Made-to-order Sandwiches and salads in addition to the usual stuff, and they've paid attention to the coffee side of things.
Aldo's in Greenport: coffee plus his own biscotti. Half the time I pass the place he isn't open.
Babylon Bean: one of my personal favorite. Beans from Hamptons Coffee; salads and quiches and the like.
Batata Cafe (Northport): used to be Barrister's coffee, IIRC. Drinkable, and I'll leave it at that; focus is less on coffee than it used to be and I probably will be taking it off the list.
Caffe Portofino: in addition to good coffee, they make a surprising number of things in-house, from sandwiches to perhaps the best assortment of baked goods of the bunch. I'm not a big sweets fan, but I really like their "breakfast cookie," which is more like granola than a cookie.
Classy Coffee (Huntington): used to be really bad (horribly over-extracted), but they've improved quite a bit. Haven't been recently enough to say much more.
Coffee Nut Cafe (Long Beach): had some mixed experiences, from OK to pretty good--but none actually bad.
Cool Beanz (St. James): use pod coffee for their shots. Pods (look like round tea bags) can make decent espresso, but never great shots.
D'latte in Greenport: Haven't been there since early fall; I like their affogato.
Georgio's, Huntington: focus totally on the coffee
Milk and Sugar Cafe: Eh. They focus on meals and desserts, not the coffee. Again, it's been a while since I've been there, but the last espresso I had was way over-extracted.
Urban Coffee (Greenlawn): in the middle pack for Long Island.
Witches Brew: cool-looking place and the people are nice, but the worst espresso I've had in recent years.
Places that closed in the last year/two but still may be listed:
The Grind (Bellmore), Brown Dog Coffee (Kings Park), , Sea Cliff Coffee, Java Room (Farmingdale), Pisces Cafe (Babylon). EastEnders in Riverhead is allegedly reopening in May or so, but I haven't heard any updates.
I'm probably forgetting a few; I'll add as they come to me.
249 Main St, Northport, NY
Coffee Nut Cafe
250 E Park Ave, Long Beach, NY 11561
311 Hempstead Tpke Unit B, West Hempstead, NY 11552
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1014 Coffee House
1014 Fort Salonga Road
Northport, NY 11768-2273
Coffee, gelato, desserts and a few basic menu items (pizzas, which I presume aren't made there) and a few other things; the selection, I believe, is to increase. Scores middle of the pack for LI espresso, by my standards. I'm not a sweets person, but the desserts look nice.
Babylon Bean has changed hands; new owner is keeping the original concept and going further with it. He's done a lot of redecorating, and has some plans to expand the kitchen offerings. More to add as I learn it.
And yet another...
Sweetie Pies on Main
181 Main Street
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Just stopped by after having passed the place any number of times (usually going "d'oh!" when I realized I passed it again and forgotten to stop).
Cute little place that uses a lot of local suppliers (pies from Youngs Farm in Old Brookville, candies from Azure Chocolate, etc.).
... and I've been back to Sweetie Pies. They actually have a cold brew coffee system. I should have taken a picture, but it's basically this:
(no, that's not from the place; I have no idea where the shot was taken).
I haven't tried it, but is sure looks neat.
Hard to say, as I always get an espresso-based drink (an Americano, mostly; I don't add milk or sweetener to my coffee). But I can say that at least with the espresso, they pull a shot properly (if not as expertly as I've had the rare occasion to sometimes experience): not over- or under-extracted.
As far as Georgio's coffee, it's difficult for me to respond to that as I have a particular bias in that area that I can't really publicly post about. Long story.