Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Hungarian Pastry Shop -- A Crossword Solver's Haven Turns 50 Today

Two score and ten years ago, The Hungarian Pastry Shop served its first flaky, buttery and delicious pastry.  Since then, it's been the go-to place for Morningside Heights regulars, Columbia University students and visitors from all over the world.

I have a special affinity with this wonderful cafe.  It is a haven for crossword puzzle solvers.  The cerebral, highly-caffeinated, amply-sugared atmosphere provides perfect biospheric conditions for puzzle solving.  What if you can't remember that four-letter Swiss river?  Order a café au lait and chocolate croissant and let your mind wander. Aare we making progress now . . . ?

The Shop is a crossword puzzlemaker's dream come true. On any day of the week, and especially Sunday, you'll see puzzles being solved (and maybe saved and framed) by the lovely and loyal customers of The Hungarian Pastry Shop.

Like many Columbia students, I first discovered HPS as a Barnard freshman. They had me at: freshly-baked croissants right out of the oven -- an aroma that keeps you coming back to the mother ship. The warm, homey atmosphere of this independent coffee house continues to attract new Columbia enrollees, Manhattan School of Music students, post-docs and neighborhood regulars.

If you're in the Columbia University area today (Amsterdam Avenue and 111th Street), please drop by for some great coffee, a luscious home-made pastry . . . and a Free Special Birthday Crossword puzzle made by yours truly.

Birthday balloons welcomed customers this morning . . .

It's early morning and the shop is already abuzz with customers and puzzle solvers . . .

HPS owner Peter (left) and son Philip create the magic . . .

Russian Coffee, Hungarian Coffee, Viennese Coffee . . . the famous Classical Column Menu explains all. 

The average age of an HPS fan is  . . . young.

Say "Cheese Danish!"

Happy Birthday to our Dear Friends at the HPS in Morningside Heights.  Here's to fifty more years!

If you've visited the Shop, what's your favorite memory?



Helene Hovanec said...

Sounds like a fabulous place. Can they open a second shop in Brooklyn Heights? We can sure use a high-quality coffee shop here.


Stella Zawistowski said...

I used to go there every so often when I sang with the Columbia Bach Society -- their seven-layer cake is pretty kick-ass. I had no idea that they frame crossword puzzles, which is extra points for them!

Jazzbumpa said...

I'm a crossword enthusiast of Hungarian (among others) descent, and occasional blogger (today's the day!) at The Crossword Corner.

Though I live in far off MI, this warmed my heart. Thanx.


Joanne said...

I can't believe I've never been to this bakery before! I think this calls for a study break, don't you? I foresee croissants and danishes in my future.

Anonymous said...

When I moved to the city not knowing anyone, the Hungarian became my home away from home. Along with amazing coffee and food, it offers a sense of community and family in the big city! Thank you to Wendy, Peter and the whole family!

Jo-Ann said...

I remember the original Hungarians!

NYTAnonimo said...

Looks and sounds like a nice place. Bet it smells good too!

I enjoy your blog and puzzles.

Thought you would enjoy this link on embroidered eggs:

Have a great Easter!