Let us take a break from visiting historic places in Washington DC. Let us sit down for a spell and enjoy a cup of coffee with some pastries, and even read a little.
I have noticed that there are many coffee places in downtown Washington DC where tourists roam. They are all fancy-schmancy spendy places as well. I went to a couple of cafes and really enjoyed warm summer days in DC while sipping coffee and eating, while also voraciously devouring a summer chickread. Here are the two places:
KINTSUGI — Located at Eaton Workshop Hotel where I stayed for 5 days, I went to Kintsugi 3 times for coffee and pastries. Aside from it just mere floors away from my hotel room, I like that Kintsugi is chic, bright and airy. There were plenty of spaces that were cozy enough to sit down despite the venue’s open ambiance. I went there for breakfast one time then went back again in the afternoon for another cup of oatmilk latte and chocolate croissant! What I discovered about Kintsugi is that it has consistency issues. My coffee was really good the first time then watery the next. The chocolate croissant was decent enough but nothing special. I really went for the ambiance and opportunity to relax. Being able to sit at a cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee and pastries, and even get to read a chapter or two — these are very rare luxuries in my very busy life. On my third visit, I was really put off by the very rude barista. He was mumbling so I could not hear him and had to ask few times to repeat what he was saying. He was very impatient and acted like I was dumb. Since I am for good vibes only, I bid Kintsugi good riddance. For a hotel that professes a commitment to radical social change, that staff’s attitude was a big no-no! So I found another cafe to hangout which is Paul Bakery next door to Eaton Workshop.
I found out by the way the meaning of Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken ceramics. This article refers to Kintsugi as the Japanese art of precious scars. How appropriate as I found the moments of solitude that I craved during my time in Washington DC. I was in DC for work. Weeks and even months prior to traveling to DC, I was so exhausted from the demands of work. I will fondly remember the beautiful summer afternoons that I spent at Kintsugi where I was able to enjoy few moments of peace over coffee and a book. These are the simplest joys in life but most precious.
PAUL BAKERY — It was at Paul Bakery where I had my first meal upon arriving in Washington DC. I was famished after being on the plane for over 5 hours non-stop from San Francisco and being at the airport 2 1/2 hours before my flight. Paul Bakery was located right next to my hotel. I liked the outside seatings with a view of traffic and park. I did not order coffee because I was still wired from exhaustion. I had a salmon sandwich and strawberry cream puff.
Paul “taste of France” is a chain bakery with businesses all over the world. The bakery itself is pretty soulless and generic. The pastries though were very pretty and mouth-watering. Paul was pretty spendy. My little sandwich with a measly slice of fish and cream puff cost me $20 without a drink. I bought the cream puff because it was pretty. I took a couple of bites and had to let it go as yummy as it was. I forgot that it had dairy in it which I am allergic to. I got to enjoy my meal, though, at Paul as I was trying to decompress from my flight. I had a great spot people-watching and witnessing the life of people from Washington DC as they were leaving work to go home or maybe meet up with friends.
By the way, I have an Instagram account where I post mini-reviews of what I finished reading and photos of pastries. Nowadays, I only read light reads in the cozy mystery, non-gory mystery and women’s fiction genre. Find me @cozybaylife. For photos of food that will surely make you hungry, please visit my other Instagram which is @msfoodloversf. Thank you!