Aroma Espresso Bar

January 1, 2010

I woke up in Washington Square Village New Years day and headed out to find myself some breakfast and coffee. Last night, in a Nashville state of mind, I worried that nothing would be open. I was  wrong! I couldn’t resist Cafe Aroma, a block away on Greene Street.  This Israeli coffee chain opened up its first American cafe in Soho in 2006. In an area chock full of Israeli owned and staffed cafes and bars, this seems like the obvious choice. They also have branches in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan (no joke), Cypress, Canada, and Romania. The menu has an Israeli feel, but the only direct reference to Hebrew or Israel is on the retro lighting fixtures. The Israeli breakfast has been renamed a netural “All Day Power Breakfast” and includes eggs, olives, cream cheese, feta, and tomatoes ($12.95). 

I had the  Mediterranean sandwich on multi-grain bread ($5.40 for the half sandwich). Divine was the mix of sliced hard-boiled egg, roasted eggplant, tehini, pickles, and tomato. It was kind of like a breakfast felafel without the felafel, but all the flavors. The small cappuccino ($2.95) was disappointing. The espresso was bitter and overwhelmed by too much thick foam. There are much better espressos to be had in Tel Aviv, Nashville, and New York. New York, being New York, table space was a premium. But this didn’t stop one NYU undergraduate from loitering, working on what must have been last semester’s final paper for her Joyce seminar. Another student played dominoes with the small, and not very good, free chocolates that accompany each coffee drink and folded the wrappers from drinking straws into Jewish stars. As my grandmother says, “Go Know.” For my part, I blissfully read a Yiddish novel.

This pickle was missing her fried on the first morning of 2010.