If I had to pick one beverage to drink for the rest of my life, it would probably be coffee. I get headaches when I don’t get it. It cheers me up on a gloomy day. I drink it before bed. I drink it when I wake up. I drink it black, or I drink it super sweet with heavy cream in it. I’ll drink it with booze in it. I’ll drink it iced. Soy? Fine. Condensed milk? OK. I’ll even drink Turkish coffee, with a twist of lemon peel, just like my uncle likes it. Coffee ice cream? Sure. Instant coffee? Not complaining. Flavors? Can’t get enough of hazelnut or pumpkin.
Bring. On. The. Caffeine.
So the other night I was craving a pumpkin spice latte since it’s finally that season, and was all geared up to go get one when the plans changed a bit. I was unwilling to deny myself at least even a subpar cup of coffee, so before I boozed it up over a pool table nearby, I stopped into Fabiane’s in Williamsburg to satisfy my caffeine craving. No pumpkin spice lattes here, but they were actually open at 9:30pm and had seating. I browsed their menu (which is rather broad for a cafe – lots of fancy sounding sandwiches, soup, breakfast food, desserts, etc.) and instantly fell in lust with the cinnamon spice mocha ($3.50 if I’m not mistaken).
Sadly, it didn’t satisfy my caffeine fix as it was probably equal parts whipped cream and actual coffee, which is great if you like whipped cream. I like it, but I know it goes straight to my ass and I’m really just here for the coffee – I usually order my drinks without the whipped cream frills. I was hoping for a really strong cinnamon and mocha flavor in the coffee, but on the flip most of it was on top of the whipped cream. The redeeming factor was that the bit of coffee that was hiding in there was actually really good. The flavor was on point, it wasn’t served painfully hot, just pleasantly so, and it was a perfect level of sweet.
They also had this lovely array of sweets, definitely a temptation for me…especially those chocolate creme brulee cups hiding on the bottom. They also had pistachio and standard vanilla flavors. Interesting. They really seem to like pistachio here, as I saw quite a few people picking up slabs of “pistachio cake” for sale near the register for like $2.50. But more fascinating than all of this was their wide offering of gluten-free options. It’s not something I care about (bring on the gluten!), but I know many people do. I honestly think this is what this place really has going for it. There’s a huge market for that gluten free stuff, and where this places actual product may suffer weaknesses (service was “interesting” at best, also), having that many options for special dietary needs makes up for it. And hey, the more people that come here for gluten free stuff? The more gluten-ridden amazingness will be left for me. Now that’s balance.
Fabiane’s Cafe and Pastry Shop, 142 N. 5th St., Brooklyn, NY