One question that I’m asked most commonly on @buffalobrunch is ‘where can I get brunch during the week?’ While I am pretty adamant about brunch being classified by the inclusion of alcohol, some of the best places to eat between 11 am and 4 pm during the week do not carry a liquor license. Insert Public Espresso + Coffee.
They’ve been bringing us delicious coffee and espresso since November 2014 when they started operating at the Market at Horsefeathers. Fast forward to present day and their coffee counter at the Hotel at the Lafayette has expanded to include an all-day breakfast menu, a lunch menu, and a pastry counter that will blow your socks off. Oh, and the overall space is about three times the size, taking up an entire corner of the hotel with its own entrance. If you haven’t been since they’ve opened this new space, they’ve surely popped up on your Instagram feed and made you drool – not only because of the food and pretty lattes, but because it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing and photogenic places in downtown Buffalo.
I’m not joking when I say it took me about twenty minutes to decide what I wanted to order. This is a dilemma I typically experience when my options include breakfast and lunch, and when the entire menu sounds amazing. I will eat a breakfast sandwich at 9 pm if given the choice, so what’s a girl to do? In the end, I went with a sandwich and soup du jour from the lunch menu, as well as a cruller from the pastry selection. Luci Levere, their in-house pastry chef, dedicates each Friday to uniquely-flavored crullers, so *hint, hint* you probably want to go to Public on a Friday.
I went with the carved ham sandwich on a Breadhive baguette, which had gruyere, clover butter, and a dill cornichon mayo. I also got a cup of the tomato soup that was on special that day. It’s hard for me to pass up a sandwich that takes me back to Europe, and this one delivered just as I anticipated. Sweet, salty, tender ham held together by a crunchy, chewy baguette, finished off with a mild cheese and creamy butter. The mayo also added a perfectly subtle flavor element that I welcomed.
I enjoyed dipping the baguette sandwich into the tomato soup which was nice and thick and had a super fresh tomato flavor with a dollop of creamy pesto. I love a creamy soup, but sometimes you get a tomato soup that’s more on the creamy side than the tomato side, so this was really nice to have as a side, as well as the side salad that came with my sandwich. The cruller flavor I got the day that I went was a myer lemon cruller. Whatever crullers you have had in your life, just forget about them now and go to public espresso on a Friday to get one of Luci’s. Pair it with a macchiato and your day – maybe even week – is complete.
So, if you’re looking to brunch any day of the week, head on down to Public Espresso and you will not be disappointed. I am confident that there is something for everyone on their all-day breakfast menu and lunch menu. And as for the lack of booze, if you don’t get a satisfying buzz from caffeinated drinks, then you’re doing it wrong.
We’ve included a *few* extra pics of @publicespresso’s Instagram for your viewing pleasure if you didn’t notice.
Public Espresso + Coffee
Location: Hotel @ the Lafayette, 391 Washington St., Buffalo, NY 14203
Hours: Monday – Friday 7am – 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am – 7pm