It was a rainy and dreary Saturday, but my friend SY and I had a date to meet up for coffee (which for us means tea). She suggested a place called Podunk, in the East Village. So I made the trek on the subway to check out this purported homey tea salon.
Pushing through the screen door that guards the entrance, you immediately know that you're in for a treat. It's a small shop with a mishmash of tables and chairs, all conducive to lounging. A kindly lady stands behind the counter, handing out cute cloth-covered menus and answering any questions that come up. SY and I placed our orders, went back to our seats to lounge, and a short while later returned to the counter to pick up the breakfast-in-bed tray covered with our goodies.
SY had ordered a cream tea, which came with scones, incredibly-fresh looking berries, two types of jam, and a little container of sweet whipped cream. It was all so delicate, from the tiny silverware to the miniature cups, that I was charmed. SY was charmed too-- and thrilled by the delicious sugared scones.
My own choice was something I'd been craving, a pot of toasted green vanilla tea. Toasted green tea, which I had first tasted at Eleven Madison Park, is something else-- sort of like Rice Krispies, but more delicate and savory. The touch of vanilla was divine with a splash of milk and a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of fake sugar. Delicious, relaxing, and calming.
Podunk isn't cheap-- a pot of tea for one cost just under $9. But for a couple of hours of lingering and conversation, it's well worth the expense. Stop in for a quiet cuppa today and you'll see what I mean.
231 East 5th Street, between 3rd and 2nd Avenues