Uptown Roasters …. Unsuspectingly, wonderfully, the best surprise

 You must be wondering why all the hoopla.  I have a story with this roaster. A sweet one.

As a coffee hound of sorts, it was a complete surprise to find this place by the Lexington subway station. (An excellent commuting location, if that was their strategy). This area of the city, lacks good coffee. So it was a nice surprise to walk into this local roaster. (The Bronx ain’t that far).

Now, they literally had just opened. When we ordered all they could do was apologize because they were still learning how to make a proper beverage. They explained the story behind their coffee and I was sold except on their coffee making skills. They said, we’d love to give you this on the house and ask you to come back and try us again.  I did exactly that.

I could taste the beans through the watery concoction they made. There was good flavour hidden in there so in no way was I ever going to review a space without having their best foot forward.

I returned. 8 months later to reading 5 star reviews and accolades as a hidden gem.

It was indeed a great cup of coffee that I was happy to savour to the last drop.  You can taste the freshness of the roast. I remember the owner telling me how they acquired the beans and continued to roast them in such small batches. She said she believed in her product and small roasts were the best way to impart the flavours they created.
No other roaster in New York comes close to this tiny batch roasting love process.

Trust me. You can taste it.

I’m happy I waited. I believed they had something awesome then. Time and new comer after newcomer proves it. 

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Mercat del Carmen. A little bit of Spain.

Along queen street west, you’ll find Mercat del Carmen, a cafe and a small Spanish market offering everything from coffee to prepared foods to go.

It’s a small but comfortable space punctuated by the beauty of the tiles that were imported from Valencia. It was what initially drew me into the space. The second, very noticeable decorative item, is the wall sized image of Carmen. No matter where you are, you feel she is looking at you.

The star of course is the food. A measure of any tapas is it the classic tortilla which I am glad to say I was quite satisfied with. They paired it with the perfect set of marinated olives.

I was treated by the cafe, to a sugar cookie covered in dulce de leche. Enough crunch and sweetness to make those last drops of coffee extremely worthwhile.

A delightful spot for an afternoon siesta indeed.