Midtown Tap & Tea Room – Albany, NY
I have been meaning to try this place for a while. Cassie brought me to this place for breakfast back in mid-May, but we looked at the menu and balked at the time because we wanted brunch-style dining that particular morning.
The breakfast menu at Midtown Tap & Tea Room is basically bagel sandwiches. Some of them have a gourmet spin, such as the Brie and Jam Bagel. They offer a full espresso bar, Italian sodas, and all different types of teas, including bubble tea (which, surprisingly is difficult to find in the Capital Region).
I was actually really in the mood for bubble tea, so I suggested going back there this past weekend. Now, my only experience with bubble tea is the stand in the Colonie Center Food Court, where they give you a plastic cup filled with sweet tea (available in half a dozen or so flavors) and tapioca goodness sealed off at the top with plastic.
At Midtown Tap & Tea Room, the concept of bubble tea is totally different. I figured I would have the same half dozen or so choices of flavors and that it would be handed to me in a sealed cup. When I asked what flavor I could get, the young lady said “anything you want” and directed my eyes toward the various flavor shots they have. She also gave me the choice of black or green tea as well as a choice of milk. That was pretty cool, I have to say. They didn’t seal the top of the cup with plastic, but I lived.
So I ordered a coconut bubble tea with skim milk. I would have liked a little more coconut syrup for sweetness and flavor, but the hint of it was there in the background; I added a splenda packet to sweeten it a little further for me. The texture of the tapioca pearls seemed a little off; they were a little more “powder-y” than the ones at the stand in the food court. Overall, I still thought it was very tasty.
For breakfast, once I saw that they make their own bagels, I ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with plain cream cheese and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel. The young lady told me they were out of everything bagels but would gladly bake one off for me and that it would take 8 minutes. I declined and settled for a sesame bagel.
The bagels were very good. The size is on par with a Brueggers Bagel. Both varieties that I tried were very crispy on the outside and light on the inside. The cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese was very good. Slightly above the quality you’d get from a Brueggers. The bacon, egg, and cheese was very good. The bacon was thick sliced and cooked to perfection, the egg was fried freshly and nicely, and the cheese seemed better than your average american cheese. The higher price for this sandwich is justified on the basis of quality.
Cassie had the brie and jam bagel. It looked yummy. She offered me a bite, but I declined because I had to finish two bagels!
While I was there, I made a few other observations. The staff seems very knowledgeable at using their espresso machine. That being said, their espresso beverages seem to be priced slightly higher than you’d expect. That being said, between flavor shots and alcoholic spirits, they have some very nice espresso drinks on the menu. I would definitely return just to try the Oh Joy Latte, which contains espresso, amaretto, chocolate syrup and coconut syrup.
If you’re in the neighborhood of Midtown Tap & Tea Room (Located at 289 New Scottland Avenue Albany, NY 12208) and are looking for light fare or just a coffee, tea or cocktail, I would definitely check it out.
(Featured Image source AllOverAlbany.com)