There are Fridays when the only sane response to the preceding week is to eat cake for lunch. On such an occasion, we recommend doing it at Jeffrey’s Grocery.
Although lunch at Jeffrey’s is more closely associated with sliced brisket sandwiches and beet slaw, the restaurant is home to a glass display case filled with rows of winsome pastries that also fit the bill nicely. Chief among them is the chocolate coffee cake ($4), a croquet-ball sized concoction that’s been baked in a mini bundt pan and liberally powdered with confectioners’ sugar.
Although it’s billed as a cake, it’s a pastry that is more akin to a doughnut, thanks to a wonderfully crunchy crust and dense but spongy interior. The chocolate is most noticeable in the cake’s crust, and is also webbed throughout its blond interior in dark, spidery strands. It’s a mellow but luscious cake, relatively low on sugar and high on substance. And although it’s the pastry gods’ gift to a big, black cup of coffee, it’s also deeply satisfying on its own, consumed on a park bench, slowly and deliberately.
172 Waverly Place