Imagine a a new kind of Greek coffee shop, one opened by a really talented chef who uses good ingredients and does his thing in an environmentally friendly way.
Sounds good, doesn't it? Sounds like a concept that any New Yorker would welcome in their neighborhood. Well, Columbia and Morningside Heights have the first one: Community Food & Juice.
Neil Kleinberg and his wife, DeDe Lahman, serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner—as do all Greek coffee shops. There's a weekday breakfast special of wild blueberry pancakes (made with organic flour) with coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice that I haven't tried yet, but I have had Kleinberg's pancakes at his other restaurant, Clinton Street Baking Company, and the man is a bit of a pancake auteur.
I had a very fine four-course lunch there recently:
- Terrific, chickeny matzo ball soup that rivals Blue Ribbon Bakery's as the city's best
- A fine, fine caramelized onion-topped cheeseburger with thick-cut steak fries that are as good as steak fries get (I like my fries cut thinner)
- A lentil, artichoke (unfortunately not fresh), and leek salad that was for me as good as salad gets. The leeks were meltingly tender, the lentils were creamy with just the slightest chew, and the crème fraîche gave the salad the requisite tang
- For dessert, the butterscotch pudding was satisfying but didn't have that satiny smoothness that the best butterscotch puddings in town have (see Sweet Melissa's for the definitive butterscotch pudding)
How good is Community Food & Juice? Memo to Kleinberg and Lahman: Please open one in my neighborhood.
Community Food & Juice
2893 Broadway, New York NY 10025 (112th/113th streets; map) 212-665-2800