Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coffee/Riot: Mid City Caffe

Coffee shops, cafes, whatever you prefer to call them, DC has its fair share of spots that serve up the caffeinated, addictive beverage in some form or another. Some are bakeries, others more restaurant-like, and others are straight up coffee shops. I've taken on task of chronicling some of my favorite coffee spots in the city, on a quest to show what's unique and cool about them. If you have suggestions, please submit. Previous posts: Sticky Fingers, Baked & Wired, Dos Gringos, M.E. Swing, Grape & Bean, Crumbs & Coffee, Open City,Tryst, Ebenezers Coffeehouse, Bourbon Coffee, Chinatown Coffee Company, Tynan Coffee and Tea.

Funny, the first thing I thought of after visiting Mid City for the first time was another coffee shop on 14th Street.  There was something about Mid City that bought to mind Sparky's Espresso Cafe, a 14th St coffee pioneer that had a great run in the early 2000s. Sparky's closed and the space is now Cork wine bar.  Bur Mid City Caffe looks like they plan to be around for a while.

General rules of retail say that the public would rather walk down to your store than up. That is to say if you have to choose between the basement and the second floor, choose the basement. But Mid City is in a unique and neat predicament. It's location is truly multi use. There is an auto repair shop next door and a vintage furniture store below. Having Miss Pixie's downstairs means you can window shop (or really shop) and get good coffee on the same trip. I guess you can get your car serviced and get a coffee as well.

The quality is definitely there. They offer brewed coffees based on seasonal availabilities. Like other indie shops in DC, they deal with Counter Culture. Of course always offer espresso drinks. The soy latte is frothy and up there with the best of what I have had in DC. The only food I have tried are the bagels. Nothing spectacular, but the jelly was really good and fresh. So there's that.

Then there is the atmosphere. I kind of love it. As I said the interior sort of reminds me of Sparky's because, well, it' sort of small and cramped. Mid City is divided into two rooms on the second floor. One room houses the baristas, cappuccino machines, register and seating for about 20-25. The second room is smaller and set off and can seat 15-20, but seems removed. Every time I have visited, the shop has been laptop land time as they do offer free wifi.

Mid City is a really cool hangout spot! the staff is actually very cool and the offer little extras like outdoor seating downstairs, accessible water cooler and a mini couch of sorts to mix in with the other vintage looking seating and tables. Mid City is located at 1626 14th Street NW.