Caffe Bene: escape with a Misugaru drink in Times Square

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Dear Food Diary:
Tourist and locals can now take a breather while in Times Square and skip Starbucks (I love that idea). Caffe Bene, a korean chain opened its doors and introduced the masses to Misugaru and a Korean drama/soap like decor and ambiance. A little library/living room in the back, a little escape from the hustle and bustle of the city…

(This is my first Instagram photos only post, I find the mood and colors work well with coffee shop posts)

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There’s coffee, tea, smoothies, gelato, waffles and pastries, the best part is the quiet and spacious seating area. Times Square needed a place like this! We welcome you Caffe Bene, we welcome you.

My favorite korean drink: MISUGARU 
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Misugaru is a multigrain drink. High in protein, which boosts energy and is easy to digest. It’s a healthy good for you kinda drink. It comes in powder form (black sesame seed, black bean, black ride, brown rice, barley). It’s a very popular in Korea, when I visited a couple years ago, they would grind it fresh. Here in the States, you can buy pre-packed ones at Korean grocery stores. Before Caffe Bene came to town, I would get my fix at the tea shops in Korean Town.
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Misugaru Latte is steaming and nutty. It has an oatmeal/peanut butter smoothie flavor only a bit more grainy. Thick enough to keep you full for a while, it could be meal substitute, although at Caffee Bene it isn’t super dense (I’ve had it really thick elsewhere, I prefer this). For a cold option, the Misugaru Frappe is quite good, not too sweet. I like the plain misugaru better, I find the natural flavor comforting.

The first time I ordered the latte it was so so hot, I burned my tongue so badly, it made me think of a lawsuit! yes, that bad. But during my last visit, they seemed to have managed that.

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I love the lighting and the study/living room at the back. Very inviting and warm.
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There’s nothing like escaping Times Square in the middle of it. Very chill you can surf or do some reading. Yes, you can touch/read the books.

The “IF YOU MUST” OPTIONS… The coffee was ok. The food not so much…
caffe bene waffle
The waffles on display are very very tempting. They use a pre-made dough. I found it super dense, I think the middle wasn’t cooked properly. The topping of ricotta cheese, figs and almond were a let down by the bad waffle. Which is a shame, I really wanted to like it.

caffe bene sparkler
The Pear-Berry Sparkling looked pretty, but was way too sweet for me. As the ice melted, it was better and a good alternative to caffeine, but the amount of sugar was a turn off.

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Their blood orange donut was like the waffle, had the looks but nothing else. Dense and overly sweet. None of that fluffy soft pillow donut Homer Simpson is addicted to.

I’ve been back to Caffe Bene a couple times, before and after shows. I simply stick to the drink and take in the cute space. The bites however, were a turn off so far and I would probably stay away.


P.S.
Chubby’s Rating:
AMBIANCE/MISUGARU:chubby rating 3.5

FOOD:chubby rating 1

www.thecaffebene.com
116 Broadway
212.586.2010 
Caffebene on Urbanspoon