224 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-5511

I happened to be walking through Manhattan and I happened to bump into Speeds. She happened to be on her way to getting a coffee. Cafe Grumpy happened to be her destination. I happen to be addicted to coffee.

Cafe Grumpy is one of those ubiquitous indie, anti-chain coffee shops I mentioned in my recent post on Jack's Stir Brew. Hipsters behind the counter pound out shot after shot of finely brewed espresso, foam up mug after piping hot mug of cappuccino, and serve calorie after calorie of chocolate chip cookie.

I'm not sure why it's called Cafe Grumpy, since most of the people here seemed to be in a pretty chipper mood. Grumpy was packed and usually is. So maybe it refers to all those people who couldn't sit down or were joining me in receiving an errant elbow right in the small of their back. Still, we lucked out and managed to sit down where we could imbibe on caffeine and baked goods. We would not do this peacefully. Grumpy is loud. The staff is yelling orders, the customers are yelling at each other to save tables, there's music... Oh, and no laptops allowed. Get in, get out. Write your poetry somewhere else.

So the atmosphere could use an overhaul. What about the joe and the grub? I mean, that's half the reason we're here, right? The other half being to bullshit around with your friends. Speeds ordered a Cappuccino and I ordered the Macchiato. Both, we concurred, we good for what they were, which is coffee with some added punch, but I really can't say they were terribly different from what we could have gotten at another cafe. They leave you feeling a little bit dry, but Grumpy provides water for those who would like some. A nice touch. For some solid accompaniment, we ordered a Blackberry Banana Muffin, which was not bad, and a Zucchini Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffin. I bought this never expecting it to taste anything but awful. And it was, in fact, not awful. There was a hint of zucchini, but barely. I don't think it added anything though, save vitamins. My only complaint with the muffins was that their contents weren't even. So some bites were all berry and others were all dough.

Don't be grumpy. Every day is ice cream and chocolate cake. Cafe Grumpy also has a location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

(PS - Cafe Grumpy does not serve ice cream. Chocolate cake? Maybe.)

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