For residents of Western Bed-Stuy, Broadway is a common destination for groceries, clothing, electronics, and any other daily needs.
As soon as you step onto the street, the quiet, tree-lined streets of brownstones seem miles away, and you are faced with traffic, the roar of the subway overhead, and hundreds of stores to choose from.
It seems unlikely that one would come across a French cafe among this chaos, but sitting between Dodworth Street and Dekalb Avenue is a painted white building with a small red bench out front and elegant red lettering that reads "."
Inside, a narrow room with a small counter opens up to a much larger dining area, with plenty of seating and light streaming in from a single window on the back wall. The small window is positioned near the ceiling, giving the feeling of a basement, but the couches and dim lighting makes for a comfortable space to relax with your computer and a cup of coffee, and one of their incredibly tasty filled croissants.
Which brings me to the best part of the cafe: While Athom Café does have a full menu, the tastiest thing sold here are the huge filled croissants and the cheap cups of coffee (75 cents).
The croissants are filled with different cheeses, meats, herbs, and vegetables, including a goat cheese, tomato and fresh herb croissant, a ham and fontina croissant, and a nutella and pear croissant. So if you don't go to Athom Café for any other reason, go there for the croissants.
The menu offers simple fare, but with fresh, tasty ingredients, which make it well worth the cost (ranging from $6 - $9). I ordered a make-your-own omelette with red peppers, caramelized onions, and goat cheese. While the onions and red peppers add only a little flavor to each bite, the omelette is filled with a thick layer goat cheese, which adds a delicious, creamy taste and is a perfect choice for any cheese lover.
This comes with a side of spicy, crispy hashbrowns and a salad of mixed greens and carrots, topped with a light sesame dressing that doesn't overpower the fresh greens.
I also tried a toasted sandwich, made with seedy, whole wheat bread, and topped with brie, smoked salmon, avocado, and tomato. Again, the idea is simple, the ingredients are incredible. The creamy, tangy brie, goes so well with the smoked salmon (I am a smoked salmon fiend), and the added vegetables make the sandwich refreshing and slightly sweet.
The ingredients are individually so good, that a dressing or mustard of any sort would surely ruin the sandwich. This dish comes with the same side salad, and makes for a healthy, fresh meal.
I was underwhelmed by the cranberry scone, which was crumbly and dry, especially since the croissants are so fantastic. So for dessert I strongly recommend one of the sweeter filled croissants. And although they are slightly more expensive, they will be well worth the extra change.
Athom Cafe is open Tuesday - Sunday for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. They offer free wifi as well.