The name of the coffee shop has nothing to do with the exercise Pilates; it refers to the taste palate as well as the physical wooden pallets that comprise much of the new coffee shop’s interior. Palates, located near the Knickerbocker M stop at Wilson and Greene Avenue, is a brand new establishment in the area, serving top-notch coffees and teas, salads, and a huge variety of sandwiches – all for prices that won’t bust your wallet. In fact, most of their wide menu boasts “bodega prices” (under $5) while still featuring homemade frills like daily specials, in-house salad dressings, house-cured lox, vegetarian chili, and soups made from scratch.
Bushwick Kitchen is dead – long live Palates
Cafe Palates was created by a former owner of French/African restaurant Bushwick Kitchen (which has since closed), Lazlo Fogarasi. After folding with Bushwick Kitchen he brought its main chef with him to Palates, where they cook up daily specials while putting a unique spin on salads and sandies. A few standouts? The Prosciutto, Pesto & Mozzarella Sandwich ($6.25) served on fresh foccacia, the Vegetarian Sandwich on perfect multigrain bread ($4.75), and the customizable salads with bases of kale, romaine, mixed greens and baby spinach. A 24-ounce kale caesar with five toppings gave us a health kick ($5.25)! Also worth trying are their daily fresh bagels and pastries straight from Grimaldi’s Bakery.
Wood & polish
The spacious cafe, which is filled with warm sunlight and the light smell of wood and polish, is a beautiful place to spend a meal. Both artful and comfortable, the interior features repurposed pallets for tables, chairs, light fixtures and other furnishings. The artist of this woody masterpiece is James Allen, endearingly known as Gazoo, who is known in the neighborhood for his “To The Moon” tag. Across the walls are beautiful grayscale paintings from a local artist; Laszlo says they will rotate new art through the cafe continuously. Also artful is the mural in the small, paved backyard area, a graffiti sprawl with snake-like strokes, dark lines, and cartoon bears in hats.
On the way to becoming a community spot
Since their opening party on Black Friday, the cafe has seen lots of different customers become regulars. Teachers from a nearby school and young people on the go have made their appreciation for the new cafe; it’s in a spot without much high-quality grab-and-go food or sit down meals. This week they will feature their first round of “after hours” chilling – from Thursday-Saturdays they’ll be open and serving until 9PM with live music, featuring everything from electronic acts to jazz. This Thursday head over for dinner or an evening coffee and get serenaded by the tunes of local musician Nick Vegas.
Cafe Palates is well on its way to being a community-oriented spot for locals, featuring an affordable and delicious menu, friendly and committed staff, and great location. Stop by this week and get acquainted! They are open from 7AM – 8PM, and till 9PM on Thursdays-Saturdays. Check their Facebook page for daily specials and more information.