Ithaca Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gimme Coffee, Mott Street

We recently spent a week in New York City and in order to show off our provincial pride in Ithaca we took our Manhattan hosts to Mott Street, to the Gimme Coffee outpost there.

Gimme's first foray into NYC was a branch in Williamsburg, the first stop in Brooklyn on the L train from Manhattan. It didn't take long for the accolades to come. Entry into Manhattan might not have been inevitable, but must have beckoned big the while.

The Mott Street location is small, like half a subway car. The block is stylish, which means a lot of stores selling expensive things no one needs; the good coffee at Gimme is the exception.

Inside, it looks like Ithaca, with familiar Gimme accoutrements and design, including the fonts on the menu board.

It felt funny to be inside a seeming slice of Ithaca within Manhattan, as if a Wizard of Oz type tornado had swept the place up and plunked it down, far off.

Even the swirl on top of the froth was familiar. Of course, the coffee was great.

Will you go? If you do, we have something else on Mott Street to recommend: the Buddha Bodai restaurant.

The Buddha Bodai is one of those only-in-NY type places: Chinese, vegan, and kosher. A true, and unique, triple threat.

It is all the way down Mott Street, at #5, near the street's southern end. It's a pleasant walk through Chinatown, which burgeons in earnest south of Canal Street.

The restaurant is bright and spotless. The menu is simple, with vegan takes on American-style Chinese food. The food is fresh and delicious. The prices are too low.

We had lunch specials that were so filling, fine and cheap that I don't recall exactly what they included or cost. I just remember great plates of food, excellent hot and sour soup, fortifying tea, and an easy, light exit.

Mott Street also has a bunch of bakeries with pastries that average about a dollar a pop. There is nothing refined about them but the sugar. They are great and we bought what amounted to a few pounds worth for less than a saw.

Mott Street has character and centuries of history that you can feel. We congratulate the Gimme crew on joining it.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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