Well, perhaps not and that's too cliche.
It can be truly the finest point of any great dining establishment, however. Perhaps that is a rather bold statement, but it is in my opinion the bread at a restaurant and especially at a cafe marks an attendance to the simple yet overlooked points of a meal. Yes, not every meal need be preceded by a basket of bread but every sandwich should be stuffed between only the finest such stuff. Bread is not only a thing seldom and difficultly mastered, it is also a very straight-forward way of playing to the simplest of human sustenance. Bread is the basis for all other culinary creation, in my opinion and should be honored as such.
So in a cafe where great bread and good prices come together, a town called Northampton Massachusetts emerges.
Woodstar Cafe in NoHo is a place of balance. Their sandwiches are masterful and fresh, with a crunch coming not just from perfectly baked bread but from fresh ingredients within. The Sandwich titled "Emily's Favorite" is an ode to the potential stored within tofu and a fine multigrain loaf. It's big and satisfying.
Smoked Tofu at its very finest. Pass it for meat? One could but why bother?
The sandwich my dining companion enjoyed during my recent visit, The Berkshire, was a delight. With perfectly balanced pesto, roasted tomatoes, and chicken - yes chicken is growing on me, I'm sad to say - it was a fine approach to a seemingly simple sandwich. The rustic sourdough loaf was chewy and, well, sour as it should be.
Later in the day, stepping in for a brief snack before leaving, the cupcakes: one chocolate with buttercream raspberry frosting and all vegan - the other crumbly but deeply flavored lavender and pistachio with a light cream cheese frosting, were purely delighting.
Cupcakes: Little bundles of joy! Yes, even a blessing...
The tea selection was long and very well priced. Yellow tea. Yellow tea? I hardly ever see the newly-popularizing tea here.
I'm going back. I may just gain weight but I don't mind.