Aprons and mason jars. Baskets and painted hearts. Flowered curtains. Fresh biscuits with jam.
You just want to curl up in Compote and have somebody read you a story. Or pet a purring cat in your lap. But among the many great things about this Clinton Street cafe and bakery is the fact that yes, it goes for a homey old-fashioned vibe, but it’s also clean and modern and healthy. And super yummy.
Late last year I sent my Lovely Assistant over there to check it out, and recently I was in the neighborhood for a meeting — which, as Elisa said, is the right way to think of Compote. At least during the week, when I was there, it was a perfect place to have a nice coffee drink, get a light breakfast with some greens and healthy meat, linger a bit, and move on. I am not wise enough in the ways of baking to have an opinion on the best bakery in town, but I really like Compote for the vibe and the food.
Start in what I call the “back yard,” which is shared with some other businesses and shaded by bamboo:
Peruse the menu and find nice, simple dishes like Poached egg stacks, where you get to choose the bottom (shredded hash browns, housemade, whole wheat English muffin, or grilled polenta) and the middle (choose sauteed greens or house-cured gravlax for $3 more). I had that with a salad on the side and chicken sausage. Perfect.
Go even simpler with a biscuit and seasonal compote, or polenta or oatmeal or granola.
Or step it up to on of their sandwiches:
Then sit back and enjoy the homey touches around the place. They did a good job of turning a pretty industrial space into something comfy.
And see if you can resist the temptation:
(If you’re wondering, the menu says it’s “a traditional pudding made extra delicious with dark chocolate added into the mix.”)
It’s a lovely little place, and if you find yourself in that corner of Southeast — by which I mean roughly 20th and Clinton — stop in for some warm, fresh, healthy yumminess. They add pancakes on weekends, and they even have cocktails. And everything’s made from local, organic ingredients.
I only wish my grandma cooked like they do at Compote!