Alice’s Tea Cup

102 W 73rd St. New York, NY 10023 • (212) 799-3006 • alicesteacup.com

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New York can be so annoying with its Stalin-esque reservation rules, which seem so out of character for a place like this. Charming, whimsical, themed like something pulled straight out of Alice in Wonderland, hence the name. But unless your tea party is six people or greater, prepare to wait, because the Queen of Hearts is apparently running things.

That said, should you have a party of six or simply wait long enough to get a table, you are in for a treat that will have you grinning wider than the Cheshire Cat. It starts with their “wonderful” assortment of interesting and unique teas such as apple-cinnamon and chocolate chai, each served in its very own color-coded pot the size of your head. Which you then pour into a mixed English tea setting comprised of hand-painted floral china. None of the teas were amazing, however. It was actually the food that stole the show.

Stolen with a surprisingly limited brunch menu, but if everything’s good, then who really cares, right? The scones are excellent (pictured), some of the best I’ve ever had. Thick, not too dense, moist and yummy. The French toast is also very good, served in cubes, casserole style, with an amazing drizzle of chocolate, syrup and berries around the perimeter of the plate.

The salmon benedict isn’t too shabby either, although the eggs were a touch overcooked, which is benny blasphemy and borderline worth docking a knife, but because they served it over one of their amazing scones I’m gonna let it slide.

The tower of breakfast is pretty great too, if you’re looking to try a bit of everything, adorned with a poached egg, scone and a nice homemade granola served with fresh berries and vanilla yogurt.

But Alice is also a bakery, making it an ideal place to celebrate birthdays, particularly if you have young birthday girl with you, deep in the princess phase. Mine is a bit of a chocoholic, so we obviously went with the chocolate cake, which I thought was just okay by comparison to the rest of the meal, but that didn’t seem to stop my daughter from wolfing it down like a champ.

All in, a highly successful outing worth the wait and the special trip, because that’s exactly what Alice’s Tea Cup offers… A special experience.

4 teeth

Bread and Cocoa

199 Sutter St. San Francisco, CA 94104 • (415) 956-7200breadandcocoa.com

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After reading the reviews post visiting, I’m a little pissed I didn’t get the chocolate chai, but I suppose that’s what tomorrow is for. That said, the Haight (egg sandwich with white cheddar, shrooms and spinach on focaccia was pretty awesome. And fast. Making for a very nice speed to awesome ratio.

Plus, I dig the vibe. It’s sort of a Panera meets Le Pain kinda vibe with its communal tables mixed in with cafe.

My one nit is with the fresh squeezed OJ. C’mon people, what’s the point unless it has pulp? Take it from a purist who grew up in Florida. Keep the strainer in the drawer.

***Okay, it’s tomorrow. Just had the chocolate chai and let me say I am VERY glad that I live nowhere near this place, otherwise I might turn into a two-seater by drinking these damn things every day!

4 teeth