Pushcart Coffee and Malt and Mold, two new nice places on East Broadway
Pushcart Coffee is a recent addition to East Broadway (221 East Broadway), and has an excellent atmosphere. Go there for coffee.
And just next door is Malt and Mold (221 East Broadway), selling cheeses and selections of beer that are guided by quality (imports and domestics, as well as growlers of local brewed beers).
A long known secret of mine since residing in London is that cheese is actually better with ale than with wine, thus elevating the English beyond the French when it comes to pairing cheese with alcoholic beverages. I recommend English ale when pairing your cheese (Badger; Speckled Hen; etc) .
Another secret I discovered while living in London is that Americans have never eaten cheese. Cheese made in the United States is something else, while cheese found in the isles of the UK and Ireland as well as continental Europe, is cheese.
So, go for some coffee, and when you are done, stop into Malt and Mold for real (imported) cheese and domestic artisenal cheese, and beer to take home. Be sure to visit the Jeremy Willis exhibit (until June 1st) at the Allegra LaViola Gallery at 179 East Broadway. His art strikes me as having a bit of Francis Bacon, and perhaps one can discuss that and more over fresh brewed coffee at the Pushcart Coffee.
England and France (and Italy) both (all) have wonderful cheeses, but I demur on a global statement that cheese goes better with ale than with wine.
There are indeed some good artisanal American cheeses, but there is at least a grain of truth to your remark, in this respect: Until I had had mature cheddar in London, I didn't realize that it was possible to have cheddar cheese that was categorically different from what I had taken for good American (e.g., from Vermont, upstate New York) or Canadian cheddar - or even the English cheddar I had previously tried as an import.
I simply eat very little cheese here in the states and never in Asia. The fact that in England my ice box usually had cheese in it, is perhaps testimony to something alluded to here, and I understand what you say regarding cheddar.
Of course, I paired bottled English ales with cheese in London, though have not done it since, simply due to both the cheese and the ale here not offering that very regional habit that I found myself in while residing in London.
The regional cheeses are truly something in England, and one is offered much variety and delight just trying them, let alone Continental cheese.
<Cheese made in the United States is something else, while cheese found in the isles of the UK and Ireland as well as continental Europe, is cheese.>
Oh, jonkyo. *You* are something else. Swing by Saxelby or the Union Square Greenmarket and get yourself some local cheese. I assure you, it is cheese.
Malt and Mold is a nice little store, but I don't think they're going to last long when the bulk of their stock is ~$30/lb. They need to add more wallet-friendly stuff. East Broadway is not millionaire's row.