09 July 2007

Coffee Emporium: Downtown Cincinnati, OH

Brunch at the Coffee Emporium in the old Emory Theater on Central Parkway doesn't quite qualify as a full-fledged brunch; a better description might be a "coffee and sandwich shop that happens to serve waffles on Saturdays". However, my brunch-seeking crew thought it so good that we decided to add it to the mix:

Quality of food: 4
Quality of coffee: 5
Service: 2.5
Atmosphere: 2.5
Overall value: 3.5

Ok, first of all - do not go to the Coffee Emporium expecting to have your selection of Ranchos Huevos or mushroom and sausage omelette. They ONLY serve waffles, and a few other cafe-like items, including a spinach and ricotta pie (which we tried, and it was good), some danishes, and sandwiches. However, the waffles that we got were excellent. For $5.50, you can get a waffle with any combination of the following items: fruit, walnuts, chocolate chips, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. It comes with maple syrup of course. But beyond that, who would want anything else on a waffle? I got almost everything (no chocolate chips) and it was delicious, and fresh, and just plain great.

Additionally you can't go to a place called the Coffee Emporium and expect bad coffee. We had iced coffee drinks but they were excellent as well, and I usually get fresh coffee beans from here too. So a 5 for the coffee.

Service was a bit sketchy but we think that's because there were only 2 people working. The atmosphere was good, very bright and sunny and well, like a coffee shop should be. However the atmosphere has to get kicked down a couple of notches because of the poor seating situation. There were only a couple of tables with chairs, and we were lucky enough to get a couch with a table, but before this became available, we almost got into a fight over a table. I fear that this situation will only get worse if they keep making such wonderful waffles.

Overall, food and coffee were great, and atmosphere was good, but I'm going to keep the value rating at a 3.5 because I don't want too many people to catch on to how good of a quasi-brunch experience this place really is, or else I'll never get a seat again.

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