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Café Review: Athom Café (Brooklyn)

October 28, 2010

Happy Thursday all!

Today I’m here to tell you about this little gem of a café located in Bushwick, the Brooklyn neighborhood that Caitlin calls home. Anyone who’s been to Bushwick knows that there isn’t much there in the way of hip eateries, especially when compared to other Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Fort Greene, or Williamsburg. But this is slowly beginning to change, and Athom Café (located at Broadway and Dekalb) is leading the pack in helping to transform Bushwick into a future foodie hotspot.

Athom Café is a French style café, run by a genuine (and very friendly!) French baker. The fare is thus very typically French: croissants, scones, danishes, a variety of coffee drinks, and so on. The Frenchness of the menu also makes it quite thoroughly non-vegan, and the non-breakfast menu is mostly non-vegetarian. But breakfast is really where it’s at in my opinion, and with baked goods this good, I’m willing to break vegan once in a while. Here are some of the tasty treats Caitlin and I have enjoyed:

This plate includes some of my favorite things at Athom. At twelve o’clock is their classic plain croissant, a two-dollar slice of heaven in my opinion. The outside is crispy, the inside soft, and although I’m a huge fan of croissants whenever they come by way, Athom’s truly are something special.

Of course, the plain croissant may be a little simple for some, and for those who want a little more variety, Athom has plenty of other croissants on offer. On the bottom left of the above picture is one of their savory croissants: the Tomato, Herb & Goat Cheese. Wow is this good, and I’m not even that much of a cheese man. The croissant itself is as good as their plain, and the filling ingredients are the perfect compliment. What’s more, it’s not even overly filling; it’s just an all-around great breakfast treat.

Finally, on the bottom left of the picture is their apple strudel. I picked this on my third visit to Athom because I had never seen it on offer before, and although it was good, it wasn’t quite on the level of their croissants. But maybe this was one of the first times Athom’s baker was trying this out, and so for all I know, their apple strudel could be improving in my absence. But if you’re looking for a sure bet, get a croissant and save the strudel for later.

Athom also has sweet croissants, and many with nutella fillings! This is their Nutella Pear croissant, which is super good. This was actually the first thing I ever tried at Athom, and it made a great first impression. However, now that I’ve tried more of their menu, I definitely prefer their plain and savory croissants more. This sweet one is just a little too big with all its sweetness, and left me pretty stuffed. But for those with a sweet tooth, these sweet croissants are a dream.

Athom also has scones! This cranberry scone is simple but well executed, and while not as impressive as the croissants, still stands up well on its own. And though I haven’t tried their other varieties, I would bet they’re just as good.

Finally, Athom also has Yogurt Granola! This huge bowl, served with honey and raisins on the side, is quite the breakfast, and is a good alternative when you’re not in the mood for bread or other baked goods.

Before I sign off, I should add a note about Athom’s space and atmosphere. First: it’s cozy. Some would say small. May even cramped. There are only a couple tables available for eating in, but people don’t seem to hog them forever and so the turnover is pretty fast. But I definitely wouldn’t recommend going to Athom to do work, or really even to have a long chat with a friend. That being said, the space itself is pretty cute, and I always feel welcomed when I come in. So if finding delicious food is your main objective, nothing should stop you from visiting Athom; if you’re looking for an all-around café experience, you may have to lower your expectations. But now that you’re forewarned, you should definitely definitely check it out. (Did I mention that it’s also cheap?!) Happy eating.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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