Sure, the green lady is coming to Williamsburg, but Brooklyn just keeps getting more and more excuses to buck the ‘Bucks. Starting with these two new cafes.
After folding his upscale eatery, Bushwick Kitchen, Lazlo Fogaras wanted to open a more community-oriented venue. So he opened Palates, now offering soups, sandwiches and salads in cozy, rustic digs. “I wanted to do something really for Bushwick,” he told us over a $1.50 cup of Italian coffee. “It’s a nice place, we offer what you want, and I want everybody. It’s not just hipsters. We’re here for artists and musicians and anyone who wants to explore the space. And people appreciate it — even the deli guy across the street is a regular!”
Originally named “Slash” (as in coffee shop/café/all-around-cool venue), Palates embodies an appropriate double entendre: you can please your palate with, say, a made-to-order kale salad with housemade orange vinaigrette while you relax on furniture made from recycled wooden palates designed by Caribbean artist and carpenter Jason Aaron, aka Gazoo. There’s artwork for sale and music, as well: bluegrass on Thursdays, jazz on Fridays, and an open mic night on Sundays.
Pastries delivered daily from Grimaldi’s Home of Bread in Ridgewood cost about $2 and a latte is $3. Bagels with cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and house-cured lox are perhaps the biggest bargain at $4.50. Palates plans to start serving brunch in January, followed by homemade ice cream and gelato in the summer, and (hopefully) beer, wine, and a juice bar in the future.
In Bed-Stuy, The Corner Grindopened last week, bringing another coffee shop with a kitchen (and WiFi!). This neighborhood café claims to have “The best coffee in the HOOD.” Along with assorted pastries, you’ll find filling breakfast platters (steak and eggs, breakfast burritos, French toast, and daily specials) for under $10. A long picnic table is perfect for meeting with friends or camping out for a day of coffee and free internet.
Palates, 251 Wilson Ave., nr. Harman St., Bushwick; (718) 483-8225
Corner Grind, 1183 Bedford Ave., nr. Jefferson Ave., Bed Stuy; (718) 636-5600