>> Monday, May 18, 2009

89-05 Metropolitan Avenue
Rego Park, NY 11374
no listed phone

I would normally not write about that which lies beyond the borders of our wee hamlet, but I'm gonna cheat just a tiny bit. Just over Woodhaven Boulevard is Esparks Coffee, a Queens-only (so far) Starbucks competitor. Maybe a more accurate statement is that it's a Queens-only Starbucks clone.

The coffees cost just a little bit less than what you'd get from the green mermaid, the pastries (pound cakes, croissants, muffins, cookies, etc.) are very similar, and there are lots of syrups to flavor up your joe. Esparks also has fancy-schmancy-looking cakes and frozen yogurt. There are tables and plenty of outlets, bar stools by the window, cushy chairs, and some seats outside for nice days.

Where Esparks differs from Starbucks, in any substantive way, is with it's customers. There are almost none. Of course, this means that there are always tables. If you've ever been to the Austin Street Starbucks, you know that it's a mob scene. It's crowded, there are never enough tables, and you often have to share the one you luck out getting with someone else. I won't even talk about the occasional bag lady who comes in and starts a scene. So it's nice to be able to go someplace and actually be able to sit down.

There are some negatives here though. One: location. Though it's just down the block from Trader Joe's, it's inconveniently placed on the wrong side of Woodhaven (and let's not forget that, from a Forest Hills perspective, Trader Joe's is already inconveniently placed... unless you happen to really love Metropolitan traffic). Two, their non-working wi-fi. For many months, it's been down and no one here has any idea when it will be repaired. As a result, anyone who wants to work on anything online will have to do it elsewhere. Third: the lack of many customers means that the employees wander around in the back often and customers who get here stand around wondering if they walked into a closed shop. More than once, I have seen someone come in, peer over the counter, shrug, and then leave.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot about the coffee. Is it any good? Well, it's a tiny bit thin for my taste and a little dark. Reviews that I've read online are either negative or mediocre, complaining that they over-roast. Personally, I don't think that it's terrible, but there's certainly room for improvement. I've never had the espresso drinks, but the froyo is pretty good and the pastries that I've eaten, while not blowing me away, have been perfectly what I would have expected them to be.

UPDATE 6/1/09:
The WiFi is back!

UPDATE 3/16/10:
What is Esparks obsession with this one Christian rock band? In the last few months, they've played the same album over and over and over. This is a coffee shop, not an Mississippi gas station. One of the things Jesus was most passionate about was jazz music with his coffee, not religious bubblegum pop.


Jeffrey June 21, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

They have a location in Great Neck too.

Joanna September 2, 2009 at 7:11 AM  

There is also one on Broadway, across the street from Elmhurst Hospital. It can get quite packed during the nights and weekends. So don't go there (so I can get a seat lol).

Angee84 October 11, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

I actually love their espresso drinks. They make me black and white mochas even though it isn't on the menu.

Vinny March 26, 2010 at 11:54 AM  

$2.65 for an everything bagel egg sausage cheese and a Med Coffee you can not beat that deal and its very good

Post a Comment


  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP