Say you’re strolling along in the Central West End and you have the urge for a good cup of java. Maybe a pastry, cookie, a sliver of cake or even a sandwich to go with it. Perhaps an exotic tea, a smoothie, or an upscale ice cream. (Drum roll!) Look no further than Coffee Cartel on the corner of Maryland Plaza and Euclid.
By now, dear reader, you know that I prefer the mom and pop, hole-in-the-wall, locally owned businesses whenever possible. Check that box. Coffee Cartel also gets kudos for their hot location and outdoor patio for dog and people watching.
Cyndy and I walked in for a bit of refreshment recently. Like me, I thought the place needed a facelift. They’ve been around for 22 years, which is a lot in restaurant years. The next thing I knew, I’d bumped into a chatty workman with a ladder, who was caulking in preparation for a repaint. There was a sign asking your indulgence during the makeover.
We sat is the window—and there’s lots of window space to sit in at Coffee Cartel. In addition to the 24 seats in the main room, there’s another 100 or more, in two adjoining party rooms. I could tell by the decor that this place had the makings for some happy times.
Cyndy and I split a tasty tiramisu and I had one of the best dishes of chocolate ice cream I’ve had recently. According to the lettering on the freezer case, the ice cream was Edy’s. My gripe was that they had no decaf, which is my brew of preference that time of day. I couldn’t tell if the absence of a low octane brew was just happenstance or a store policy.
Coffee Cartel, 2 Maryland Plaza, Central West End. Open 24-7. Menu: coffee, tea, smoothies, lattes, frappes, sodas, shakes, cakes, pastries, donuts, wraps, sandwiches, candy, snacks, salads, drinks and more.