Moloko: Crepes and Coffee Cheaper Than Starbucks
Visiting the Shops at Midtown the other day, I felt sluggish. Suddenly, it hit me why: I hadn't had my caffeine fix yet.
Then I remembered that Moloko, a new coffee house, had opened up. Though its website touts crepe-making for children and a "coffee revolution" theme, the place is a small, narrow space with tall, wooden beamed ceilings. Dark red walls gave way to filled bookshelves. There was a chess board in the corner, along with some couches meant for lounging or chatting.
I sat down on one of the leather seats at the long coffee bar and ordered a nonfat latte ($2.65) with a shot of almond syrup (I needed a sugar fix, too). It was served in a tall blue mug, just strong enough, with a hint (not a douse) of almond flavoring. "Let me know if you want the coffee sweeter. I like to start with less and add more it someone wants it," the barista told me.
The menu of mostly crepes included sweet (like
the Bom Dia filled with fresh blueberries and cream cheese, served with a
side of yogurt and granola $6.95) and savory (perhaps the Popeye's Pick
with fresh spinach, tomatoes and feta $8.95). I chose the
Italian Stallion, a crepe filled with Manchego, prosciutto, and green
Look! A latte in a real mug!
Yes, the names are a little cutesy, but I can forgive that. At first I thought that a
mistake was being made and that large green grapes were being added to
my meal, until I realized that those were oversized olives being added to
the thin crepe batter, along with cheese and meat. Served with fresh
greens and a raspberry vinaigrette, it worked for lunch. The saltiness of the fillings was a good match for the slightly sweet crepe.
A few more customers wandered in off the street, as people slowly discover this new neighbor. A man asked for a Thai
coffee, made with cold brew and condensed milk. He was so pleased, he stayed for a crepe.
woman came in from a stroll to check out the place. The same happened
with her. Moloko does have that vibe where you feel like maybe you should stay for a spell. That you
do deserve to drink your coffee the way nature (and not Starbucks)
intended -- out of a mug, not a paper cup.
In the next few
weeks, Moloko will be adding WiFi, make ice cubes out of coffee (a
nifty trick that Brooklyn Water Bagel Company does), and host live music. They want to be a place for
locals who live in the high rises next door to hang out in. Hey, it's
cheaper (and better) than that chain inside the big box retail down the
Italian Stallion crepe -- silly name for a satisfying lunch.
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