Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Best espresso you may not be drinking

The abusive rocky relationship between Detroit and this "renaissance" we've heard so much about seems to affect all aspects of city life. Today's case study: the local coffee scene.

Addresses come and go. Sometimes nobody really minds (Beans and Bytes). Sometimes it isn't their fault (Amsterdam Espresso). Sometimes, places that should go hang on anyway (names will not be mentioned here.)

Then there are places that should be celebrated, but aren't so much. Jordi Carbonell's smart Cafe Con Leche is one of them. A very scientific, no-margin-of-error-whatsoever poll conducted recently for this publication revealed that more than a few people had yet to pay a visit to the Mexicantown Mercado, where Carbonell's cafe is located.

And you wonder why we can't have nice things.

It isn't every day you see a barista of this caliber in Metro Detroit. The drinks are expertly made and sold at prices nearly anyone can afford. The cafe cubano is damn good and puts a pleasant spin on your morning.

The Mercado development seems to be lightyears away from recognizing full potential, so one wonders how things are going to play out. Meanwhile, the cafe really needs to be somewhere more central. Might could happen. (See: Eph McNally's.)

With a nearby competitor in the wings - the Mercury Coffee Bar on Michigan, now hiring - it's fingers crossed that Cafe con Leche succeeds. Of course, if more people go, we could uncross our fingers, which would be great. Hurts after a while.

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