November 30, 2009

M-OST Satisfied at Ost Cafe in East Village

M-OST Satisfied  

I usually visit the coffee shop I write about two times, once alone to gather a good feeling about the place and then once with Diego to see how our experience is as a parent and child.  I usually accurately assume how staff and clients will respond to our visit together before the actual thing.  In the case of OST I was right…we would be welcomed but a little out of place. 

I had come to OST Café once and had passed it many times before that.  Every time I passed by, there was always a crowd of people.  And NEVER less than ten, so coming early morning before all of the East Villagers awoke would be a good idea. 

This coffee bar has different intimate and open spaces for all kinds of coffee lovers.  It has a bar for those solo drinkers, tiny tables for a friend or two, banquets for lap-toppers, old fashioned sofas to feel chic in and outdoor benches for those seeking the sun or chill.  Oh yes, and it also has a fabulous window on the street side for to-go orders.  Like I said, I did not mind feeling out of place with Diego but I definitely knew not to linger and act as if we had bottomless cups.  I drank my steaming and perfectly bitter Cortado kind of quickly and Diego slurped up his milk.  We tried a Schnecken (a delicious German Pastry made with walnuts and glaze) while we read Madlenka by Peter Sis.  And we even managed to squeeze in a short chat at the bar about India’s Elephants and The Great Wall of China.

Now, the pastries.  Absolutely no cookies.  The great alternatives are a plethora of Croissants and German pastries like nobody’s business.  Katarina, one of the owners said that they wanted to get the best pastries so they did not only order from one business.  The German pastries were from Balthazar and Moishe Bakery and the Baklava was from a Hungarian Pastry Shop in the East Village.  They also offered small cheese plates, meat plates, red, and white wine.

Feeling out of place was not so bad.  I felt uniquely welcomed in some odd way by the surroundings (staff did not rush to help me).  I guess you could say that OST in the East Village is one of those coffee shops that everyone is looking for and this could definitely become one of my favorite spots even if I don’t feel like little Diego is endeared by everyone.

On my way out I managed to meet Aaron Hagedorn, Katarina’s husband and I told him that he had a great place.  I asked him what he was trying to create when they built the place and he said “we wanted to create a place that had a lot of natural light and that you felt good being there, a place with a good attitude.”  Mission accomplished with our without a child.   

OST is located at 441 East 12th Street (corner of 12th & Avenue A) in the East Village.   You can arrive by taking the L Train to 1st Avenue and walking south to 12th.  For more info visit:

Pastries- 4 Stars
Coffee-4 Stars
Service-No one rushed to help me.
Price: $$

November 22, 2009

Sweet San Fran

Diego and I were in San Francisco taking a break from New York and the Nightmare Haunted House.  While we were there we celebrated Mexico’s tradition of Día de los Muertos.  We participated in the Mission District parade, danced and walked along with musicians, puppeteers and other artist parents.  Dressed as brides, grooms and calaveras both Mexicans and non-Mexicans strolled streets remembering past souls. 

We could not leave San Fran without visiting a coffee shop so we decided to visit La Victoria Bakery & Kitchen there in the same neighborhood.  It was just the thing to do to end our celebration because La Victoria is the perfect pit stop for any family.  They served tamales, sundaes, and Pan Dulce galore.  One could find anything from Banderitas (small flag poles) to Conchas (delicate colored breads made with the perfect amount of sugar).  Most of the breads sold at Panaderias (Mexican Bakeries) are made of flour, sweet cream butter, eggs and sugar.  While we were there they also sold the famous sugar skulls that are a staple to Mexican Culture.

Enjoy the pictures.  We are back in NYC and posting a blog on the East Village’s OST this week!

La Victoria is located at 2937 24th Street, San Francisco, Ca.  For more info visit:

Pastries-4 Stars
Coffee-3.5 Stars