I was recently treated to Sunday brunch with a friend who “kidnapped” me and took me to R Coffeehouse, in the remodeled building that used to house the Riverside Perk.
I hadn’t been there since the new owner, Angelo Rodriguez, remodeled and rehabbed it. It felt good to be back-- familiar yet new, with a pretty new paint job, local art on the walls and a fantastic smell, like coffee and good food.
We also walked into a surprise concert by cellist Seth Girton, Carol Neighbor and Greg Golding. They were providing a wonderfully diverse array of music, from Renaissance songs, to klezmer to original music of their own. A little girl was dancing in the aisle, twirling and singing. I wanted to dance, myself!
I ordered the Mayan coffee, with chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. It was smooth at the start and bloomed into a mouthful of spice and heat. It was delicious. My friend had a vanilla latte with just enough vanilla, and not cloyingly sweet, like some flavored coffee drinks can be.
We ordered our food and listened to the music and chatted. By then, Seth was playing a Bach cello suite. It made me tear up a little.
I ordered two homemade tamales, with an overeasy egg on top, smothered with a dark and musky pork chile that complemented the mild corn masa. The egg melded everything together.
My friend had the chorizo omelet, with house-made chorizo, potato, onion and egg, on a tortilla. The chorizo was flavorful and everything tasted just perfect together. We should have asked for salsa to go with, but were too busy eating and having fun to think about it.
R Coffeehouse serves lots of other food, but breakfast specials sound the best, from biscuits and gravy to a wacky French toast. Everything is made by hand and with love, and you can taste it.