>> [CLOSED] Romanian Coffee | Eat the World NYC

22 November 2009

[CLOSED] Romanian Coffee



The name of this place is a bit deceiving. I wouldn't even call it a coffee shop per say, it's more of a Romanian living room. A lady is busy in what is certainly not a commercial kitchen, but more like the one in any house. Her mismatched appliances and wood veneered cabinets are more welcoming than any stainless steel could ever be.

Coffee culture is not as strong in Romania as some other beverage cultures, but seeing as how part of the country is considered to be in the Balkans, they do enjoy a strong cup of Turkish blend ($1, below). Watch out for the bottom of the cup here, as even more so than usual you will find a thick, black sludge that is easily drank if not careful. At any rate, it's the only coffee offered in this "coffee" house, and is very tasty. Being the only non-Romanian speakers in the place, we are asked the question of whether we wanted sugar in ours, something that I think is added usually without question.

So we take our seats after ordering and enjoy the surroundings of her home. My friend comments that it appears to be the kitchen of someone's basement, and I agree that if my grandma had a kitchen in her basement it would certainly have a resemblance to this place. The furniture is straight from the past. A couple men come in, order food or a beer, and watch what is probably the only Romanian channel in the city. We try to discern words that sound so close to Italian but yet so far.

The only diner when we entered was eating sarmale, stuffed cabbage rolls that I was underwhelmed by at the Romania Day Festival over the summer. We instead go for the most exotic dish available (no menu, she will tell you everything that is ready for each day) and order the tripe soup ($5, below) which came with stern warnings from our cook. Apparently she does not trust us to eat these pieces of stomach, and probably on good experience with non-familiar stragglers walking in. We assure her we are up to the challenge though and are rewarded with a decent hearty soup that is fit for a working man.

The soup comes with a garlic sauce so potent that just a few drops is enough to get the aroma going through not just our soup but the entire restaurant. A heaping portion of sour cream also comes with it and is immediately dolloped into the mix. The soup, and presumable the others offered, are served with so much bread that it could be (and was) a meal for two.

The place and woman were so friendly and cute that I want to take a photo of her in the kitchen, but she shyly declines and gets back to work as we say our goodbyes.

Romanian Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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