Here's the situation. There used to only be two places in Roslindale that had any espresso at all. One was the Roslindale location of Sugar Bakery. It was more of a brunch spot, though. When my girlfriend and I went in to the bakery section and ordered an americano and a double espresso to go, they had all the supplies for the operation, but the woman didn't know how to do any of it. She kept saying she had to charge us $7.50 for Shana's americano. When we finally got our drinks, the espresso was so burnt that Shana threw it away. They recently closed. What a great spot for an awesome bakery/REAL coffee shop!
The other was a strange cafe called Select Cafe that sold bitter, burnt espresso, shitty pastries that seemed to have come from WalMart, and some ice cream that, as far as I could tell, no one had ordered in about seven years. I always assumed it was a front of some kind since there didn't seem to be any way they were staying in the black on that. They just went out of business, so who knows, but more importantly, that space is open! If anyone wants to make quality espresso drinks and, preferably, bake some awesome pastries or at least stock some from a real bakery, please please please take that space and make me a coffee shop!
Every time I talk to my neighbors in Roslindale, everyone agrees that Roslindale is a really nice place to live... except that there's no freaking coffee shop. There is a market for it. Please come take it.
As far as coffee shops at all go, there are two, sort of.
They make pastries there, and every twenty minutes or so, the man baking announces what he's got coming fresh out of the oven. Their case is full of dozens of different pastries, but somehow it seems the man only ever has cranberry muffins coming out next.
Blueberry scone ($1.25) - soft, sweet, filled with slightly tart blueberries
Maple sausage egg and cheese croissant ($3.25) - The lady heated it up for me perfectly, a hot and squishy (in a good way) stuffed ball. I mean the sausage is certainly out of a frozen package, but you can't deny the guilty pleasure of it.
Sweet potato bramble: cute
|Sausage, egg and cheese on flake: like one of those mini burgers from childhood.|
As for coffee, all they have is one of those diner-style coffee pots. There's not even decaf, so it's hot coffee or tea ($1.34 small $1.77 large).
Open Tuesday to Saturday 7-3
They have fresh bread and pastries and self-serve drip coffee (but good drip coffee, the kind that lists countries of origin and flavor notes, with a light, dark and decaf option). At 7:30 am the selection of pastries is sparse, but it swells for a few hours before dwindling down again as patrons take them to work. I would get there by 7:45 if you want to get something fresh out of the oven.
|Ham and cheese croissant ($2.95) - It was still warm, clearly not too long out of the oven.|
|Pain au chocolat ($1.75) - Not bad|
|Homemade raspberry poptarts ($2.50) are kind of fun.|
|Cinnamon twists ($1.50) - It just would've been so much better fresh out of the oven. |
|The rosemary carrots were all right, but the BLT was pointless, with not enough bacon, overly toasted bread and just nothing great going on. You'd have to be really lazy to not be able to easily make a better sandwich at home.|
I've also seen Danish snails, butter horns, apple turnovers, and apricot envelopes.
All the pastries I've tried have been okay, but I'm still looking for something great to recommend. Avoid the cookies they sell from jars on a shelf, except as potential dog treats. The only other cookie exception is their "Oreo":
|This shit is actually pretty tasty.|
So now there is literally not a single place in Roslindale that serves espresso. I really, really like going to a cafe to write. In a cafe, I'm not distracted by all the other things at home I might be doing. I'm there to work, and at cafes, I really do work. Even the ambient chatting noise helps me focus. And I much prefer the way espresso treats my brain and body than the way coffee does, not to mention the taste. Somebody please, please, please take one of these locations and make me a Cafe Fixe or a Render or a Diesel or a Blue State or a Fuel. There is money to be made! I will be there all the time, and you'll get free advertising from my blog and me telling everyone I chat with at The Arboretum.