Monday, July 22, 2013

Cafe Bartlett Square, Cafe Fartlett Square

I really wanted to like this place because it is so damn convenient. Just across the street from the Green St. stop on the Orange Line, I watched over the course of the past several months as construction slowly progressed on the large building that would become overpriced condos, a yoga or pilates or whatever studio, some yet to be determined businesses, and Cafe Bartlett Square, promising espresso, baked goods and ice cream. Apparently this corner was called Bartlett Square, though I've lived there for two years and have never heard anyone call it that. But okay, Cafe Bartlett Square, whatever. "Let's see," I thought.

The place is huge, giving it an instant advantage over Canto 6., just a two minute walk east, which has two tables. It even outdoes Ula, half a mile to the north, which has several tables but is usually crowded with laptopers and, all too often, noisy children. CBS has more tables than I bothered counting inside, as well as another dozen outside. It'll probably never be a problem to get some work done there, except for the little sign that says there's no wifi during the peak hours of 7-9 am and 12-2pm. With all that space, at least in these early days, I really don't think they need to cut the wifi on people.



Though their menu is confusing, they are doing ristretto espresso there. And it's good, a 9/10 espresso rating. Rich and flavorful stuff.


Unfortunately there's nothing good there to pair it with.
I tried a goat cheese brioche for $2. Apparently the goat milk was just in the dough. It was boring.

The Chocolate Crumb Brioche ($3.25) had cream inside. I ate two bites before deciding it wasn't worth any calories. 

Trying again another morning, I went for the bacon egg and cheese brioche pizza
($6.25). I couldn't wait to take my little white plastic knife and slice down the middle, spilling oozing egg yolk all over the cheesey, bacony goodness...



What the fuck?! The damn egg was hard! Who would do that?! Insanity! Also the whole thing was just salty and greasy instead of flavorful. Brioche is probably not, as it turns out, the greatest format for pizza.


I just had to try their "Banh Mi" ($8) "Ham, turkey or tofu, with pickled slaw, cilantro and chipotle mayo on a torta" 

If someone who'd had a banh mi once called up her friend and tried to describe the sandwich over the phone, and the friend used whatever he happened to have in his fridge at the time to try to make a banh mi, he might have made this sandwich.

No one who saw the "banh mi" at Bartlett Sq. would ever guess it was supposed to be this:



The Daily Special Sandwich ($8) - Aged cheddar, mango chutney, and mesclun greens, on peasant - The worst use of $8 ever. A sticky, pointless sandwich you could have made yourself but wouldn't have, that you finish only because you paid Eight Fucking Dollars for it. An insult and a joke.

"The Gourmand" ($2.50) - a brown butter, Valrhona chocolate and oatmeal cookie - It was at least soft, but it was smaller, less tasty and more expensive than the amazing cookies down the block at Canto 6 ($2 there). In fact the pastries and sandwiches here are all more expensive, smaller and shittier than those at Canto.
Maybe they'll improved over time. Right now though, I would only suggest the coffee at Cafe BS. Eat elsewhere first.

Update: Someone told me to go back since they'd changed chefs (or whatever) again.

Chocolate chip scone: just sweet, wrong chocolate chips, play dough-ish dough 


I ordered a small americano for here and received a large one to go, and they acted as if I'd won a prize that I got a large. No, I like the precise amount of caffeine that comes in two shots, and I don't want this much water, and it tastes better in a porcelain cup. Bah.




Cafe Bartlett Sq on Urbanspoon