When's the last time you've received proper espresso service? A saucer is nice, and a spoon is twice, but I'm talking about full service that includes a rocks glass with soda water while your shot is being prepared so that you can cleanse your palate. This is the very service that I've received each time I've ordered an espresso at Herkimer on the Ave. I received similar service at Vivace's Alley 24 when they first opened (they have a soda fountain for goodness sake), but when the line started to stretch to the door, soda service seems to have evaporated. Not so at Herkimer-- I've received the same full service from at least a couple of their baristas, regardless of the (short) line.
When I first saw Herkimer joining the U District's bevy of coffee shops and other businesses that serve espresso (the latter typically poorly), I wasn't sure how they were going to fit in or if there was enough biz north of 45th St to sustain them. The Herk on the ave is small, but packed tight with goods- synesso on the bar, a couple roburs, brewed service, and a pastry case that always has a couple locally produced pastries to tempt me. I tried the Herk a few times last year and enjoyed what they had, but when the weather turned, I couldn't part with Miss Silvia or Mr. Major at home. With the recent break in the clouds (most likely to be short lived), I've rediscovered the tight game at Herkimer. I don't expect to see siphons on the bar anytime soon, but they have all the moves I like to see and they're on the way from my house to the Cowen park playground, so even daddy's a winner when it's park time.
Thank you Herkimer, I hope to be toasting you with a glass of soda in-person soon!