Now Open: Modca by El Beit in Williamsburg

01/28/2011 5:39 PM |

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I am typing this very post from a brand-new coffee shop opened by the folks from El Beit. Now, as a freelance writer, I spend a fair amount of time in coffee shops, so I’m always excited when a new place opens. Modca has a unique look to it, half industrial warehouse with concrete floors and exposed ducts and half farmhouse with robin egg blue walls, flower-filled glasses and cute miniature picture frames. The vibe is fairly relaxed; Camera Obscura’s Underachievers Please Try Harder is playing at a reasonable volume on the stereo, half of the crowd is typing away on laptops while the other half sits and talks at small tables. It’s nice to be at a coffee shop that doesn’t feel like an office but also isn’t blasting electro tracks from some barista’s new band.

What’s interesting is that the kitchen actually sports a wood-fired oven, where they bake all of their bagels, focaccia and flatbreads to order. The menu is actually pretty expansive: guanciale (a.k.a. face bacon) served with a soft egg, Brussels sprouts and pancetta, roasted squash with black lentils and more. The friendly staff of stylish ladies say that plenty of people have been stopping in for lunch and dinner, with decent take-out business as well.

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The coffee is similar to that of El Beit’s, meaning its well-made and strong as hell. Espresso shots are pulled on a La Marzocco Mistral machine, which uses a pre-infusion process that wets the coffee before brewing, which supposedly makes for a better cup of coffee. You can also get coffee prepared by French press or the Brewt, a plastic device that makes one cup of coffee at a time. In a of couple weeks, the place with also serve beer and wine and will stay open later than its current closing time of 9pm.

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