Friday, October 14, 2011

Financier, Midtown

Petstarr's coffee rule #128: Don't trust the French.

Financier Patisserie
1211 Avenue of the Americas
AREA: Midtown

Cafe au lait (Petra) - 1

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The French are very good at lots of things, like bread, fries, kissing and being rude to tourists. From what I've seen they're also extremely good at infiltrating America and opening up crap cafes. You can't walk 20 metres in New York without passing a "cafe-patisserie" (ie: bog standard bakery with cakes in the window) or stumbling over a handwritten "prix fixe" menu featuring hideous things like garlic snails marinated in stinky cheese.

Perhaps France's famous gift of Lady Liberty is actually a trojan horse from which crappy bistro owners have been secretly escaping since 1886.

"How the merde am I going to get down from here?"

However unlike their mediterranean cousins, the Italians, the French aren't very good at making coffee (see: Balthazar). Perhaps this is why Americans have embraced them so - two cultures joined in mutual coffee cluelessness.

Which brings me to Financier Patisserie, tucked in behind the News Corporation building on the Avenue of the Americas in midtown.

If you want to experience what it's like to fly from Sydney to Los Angeles at a fraction of the cost, and without any of the entertainment or the benefit of actually arriving in LA, then book yourself in for a solid 13 hours at Financier. For the full effect, bring along a thin blanket that's too short to cover your feet and try to sit next to an obese person.

Order a cafe au lait, sit back and enjoy the aroma of warm water and milk, just like Qantas makes.

I probably should have taken the lid off, huh...

My cup of warm milky water came with a mini madeleine cake sealed in a plastic wrapper, further enhancing the airline vibe. If I could have found the steward call button I would have congratulated them.

My "chevre salad" (or "chev-ray salad", if you're the girl behind the counter) also came in a plastic tub, inside of which was another mini plastic tub of dressing, a plastic knife and fork, salt and pepper and a serviette wrapped in - wait for it - plastic. Sadly there was no lemon scented towelette.

Still, my experience at Financier wasn't all bad - I didn't have to go through customs when I'd finished.


  1. Yeah, that place is turdular.But it's not the worst. Yesterday I sampled what was probably the single worst coffee I've ever had the displeasure of tasting, not just in the United States but in the known world. It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it. I don't even know how you make a beverage this bad. It was just terrible coffee, it was foul-smelling swamp juice, presumably made from rotting woodland animals, curdled milk and hate.


  3. Brave girl, taking on the Frogs after being accused of racism in the Sunday Mail by a, presumably Pom reader ('Voice Recognition' - 'anything is better than being mistaken for a Pom'). But then, the Poms can't make coffee either.

  4. I LOVE that a Pommy reader called me a racist for my remark about the English. What happened to "stiff upper lip" and all that?