Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Most Dangerous Spot in East Harlem

It looks so innocent from the outside. The clean brown-and-white striped awning (a dash of Henri Bendel?) is inviting, amongst the hodge-podge of shops surrounding it and begs the passerby to push open its door to see what's inside. But don't be fooled, my friends. SpaHa Cafe is East Harlem's most dangerous spot.

SpaHa (SPAnish HArlem, get it?) is not your typical Spanish Harlem establishment. As much as I love my 'hood, do we really need one more junky cheap luggage store or flea-ridden bodega? Thankfully, the cafe's business is booming. And why not? New Year's diets and Lenten disciplines be damned. SpaHa will bring you to your knees. And the staff is friendly and helpful (yeah, they'll help you right into the next bigger size jeans).

SpaHa Cafe is chock full of the most glorious assortment of breads, pastries, and sandwiches you've ever encountered. I can never resist buying a loaf of raisin-walnut bread (with almost as many raisins and walnuts as bread) or picking up a chocolate croissant (flaky, flaky pastry with a generous slab of chocolate smack in the middle - oooh!). Sometimes I just let the great folks behind the counter choose for me: "I'm in the mood for something chocolatey/fruity/nutty - what do you suggest?" And they always give me a lovely treat.

These wonders of delight are delivered fresh to the cafe from well-known and loved establishments like Balthazar and Artopolis, so no need to travel down to SoHo or over to Astoria to sample these fine confections. Nope, just swing by after exiting the #6 at 116th, then trudge on home. Almost a little too convenient, if you get my drift.

Superior food and agreeable folks - unheard of! And dangerous. Stay away! It is impossible to walk out empty-handed or empty-bellied. Resolutions cannot be kept with this menace to society in the neighborhood. Thank goodness!

Hit me one more time - with a loaf of raisin-walnut bread. Bam!


PT said...

How much did they pay you for the advertisement?!?

MaryB said...

They held me at biscotti-point. I had no choice!

Beth Royalty said...

I'm buying plane tickets right now.

chux said...

my kinda of place.....hmmm chocolate croissant

Anonymous said...

This is the best thing that has happened to our neighborhood. Tikki, Marco and everyone at SpaHa Cafe is super friendly and everything is beyond delicious. Now if we could only convince them to open a nice French brasserie!


MaryB said...

Beth and Chux - c'mon over! You will not be disappointed.

Anonymous - well, if we keeping bringing up the subject of the brasserie, maybe . . . Good thinking, neighbor!