Living between the towns of Hitchin and Letchworth in north Hertfordshire, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes. Some might say, and do, that we have far too many. But many of them are independent and I like that 🙂
So while we were in Baltimore, Maryland, our habit dictated that while out for a walk we searched out a nice coffee shop to visit. Our favourite one (and we tried a few) was the Corner Bakery Café, East Pratt Street – opposite the National Aquarium in Inner Harbor.
One massive observation we made during our US visit – the coffee options are very different to here in the UK. I assumed that if I went into Starbucks I could get a flat white – maybe I could, but it wasn’t listed on any of their board menus. Nor were cappuccinos, lattes, macchiato etc. Instead every coffee shop we visited over the week served filter coffee (and very little else). Espresso coffees (the flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes) may well have been available, but they were not readily advertised on any table menu or board. I love flat whites, so found the switch to filter quite difficult (especially because the cups are so large), but by the end of the stay I could tell a good large filter coffee from a bad one.
The Corner Bakery Café served good filter coffee. What’s more, you get a choice! When you purchase a coffee you get given your cup and you then serve yourself from three or four large coffee urns. Options included Cafe Europa, Sumatra Decaf, Bakers Blend and Hazelnut Cream flavours. The Bakers Blend was my favourite, and closest in taste to the percolated coffee I drink at home.
Whenever we visited we were always surrounded by customers eating paninis and freshly made sandwiches and pasta dishes – and they really did look and smell good. The cakes – wow, looked amazing and sure did taste it too! On our day trip to Washington DC we came across a Corner Bakery Café near to The White House in the National Press Building Leasing, 529 14th St NW. Here I ordered a much needed coffee, but also indulged in a chocolate baby bundt cake. It was yummy 🙂
What I liked most about the Corner Bakery Café (both in Baltimore and Washington DC) is that your time spent there is a relaxing one. There’s no rush to drink up and leave but instead you can enjoy your food and drink while reading the paper or while catching up with some emails. I noticed at least two casual business meetings taking place during our visits – it’s a really good place for this.
Next time we’re in the US, we’ll certainly be looking up our nearest Corner Bakery Café. Lots of cakes I’ve not yet tried!