This afternoon I had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious lunch with a new friend, Anne, at Franchia Teahouse and Restaurant. (Park and 34th) I had heard good things about the space, and since that particular neighborhood is a refined-dining desert, I naturally chose this Tea House as a good place to get together.
Franchia’s philosophy is that “tea time is a time of self-reflection, a time for discovering peace of mind and simply a time for enjoying conversation with family and friends.”
It also, apparently, is a good accompaniment to light, delicious vegetarian fare. Ann and I each chose a unique tea – I chose organic lotus tea, she chose dewberry – which was brought out in porcelain bowls with strainer for the loose leaves. My light miso and tofu soup had a pleasant, almost beer-like scent, and my vegetarian rolls were crispy and delicious. Ann said her spicy noodles weren’t actually very spicy, but yummy all the same.
After lunch Anne recommended a new coffee shop housed in the edgy-cool Ace Hotel on Broadway and 29th. I was so impressed with the lobby that I immediately called both my sister and mom to recommend the hotel for their trip this weekend. Alas, they’ve already booked a place on 77th.
Anyway, Stumptown Coffee is an antithesis too the elaborate “authentic-hoax” of Starbucks. The menu board screams “don’t you dare order a tall, skim, extra-whipped-cream, decaf mochachino – you poser.” It was packed with hip alternative patrons. Maybe it was a bit gimmicky, but I totally fell for the newsboy outfits of the staff, who quickly handed me an Americano in a simple porcelain cup. (I’m a sucker for european affectations.) I took it to the counter to people watch the street and occasionally look over the shoulder of a playwright scribbling dialogue on a yellowpad next to me.
I would totally recommend this place if you happen to wander south of the main Broadway drag and need a charming afternoon pick-me-up. No worries if your a conscientious drinker, their products are direct trade, and some – like the Ethiopian varieties – are organic!