Monday, February 6, 2012

Cafe Bene 01-31-2012

Location: 1605 Broadway
Time: 12:30pm
People: SaSha, AP and myself

Feelings: After Aussie pie spot, Pie Face and Korean coffee giant, Cafe Bene opened near my work, I have a new found appreciation for Times Square. I am completely obsessed with Pie Face's strong Aussie coffee, so it would be difficult for me to go elsewhere at the moment. But we walked in at Bene, hoping to find something for lunch.

It is an impressive, massive space. There is a large seating area in the back and plenty of food options to choose from. Even though this chain reigns from Korea, don't expect authentic Korean food. The most Korean product you could find here is Misugaru, traditional Korean smoothie.

There are savory and sweet waffles, pastries and donuts ($3.25) that looked and tasted suspiciously similar to DOUGH in Brooklyn. Plenty of pre-packed sandwiches, wraps, and sushi like shrimp inari were also available, and in that respect, it seemed quite similar to Pret. Bene, however, is much more reasonable. I got a "Ricotta, Spinach and Egg Wrap" ($4.99, with whole wheat tortilla) and a green tea panna cotta ($2.75), and it came under $9. Since when can we get a wrap and a dessert for under $9 in Times Square?!

Everything here tasted light and subtly flavored. Nothing was too sweet or salty which may contrast with the Times Square's flavor of Applebee's. But with their bold, strong coffee ($1.75 for small drip), I am certain they will attract wider range of audience. Perhaps the end of Starbucks is near thanks to Bene and Pie Face.


BLee said...

Caffe Bene is everywhere in Seoul!! As is LA chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf-- and 3 locations just opened in Manhattan...

Yosh. O said...

I def like Bene more than Starbucks!