Sunday, October 30, 2011
Union NJ (for Carol Bellantoni)
Cafe Mozart, Union NJ
An institution for many years in downtown Union.
There was a time when going out for coffee, dessert, & talk usually meant a choice between a diner, Dunkin' Donuts, & Friendly's. I think Cafe Mozart predated the latter two. Occasionally, for a change of scenery, my girlfriend & I drove a few extra miles to this faux European cafe & treated ourselves to very strong, good coffee & a gourmet pastry. The cakes were exquisite, super rich, the small slice was enough & you nibbled at it. The background music was classical. It was rarely crowded, older clientele (high school kids went to a popular nearby ice cream parlor), all very civilized. I recall a ditsy waitress there who didn't know who Mozart was. The cafe lacked a bohemian coffeehouse smoky ambience, too bright & airy, but my girlfriend had been to Europe & said that yes, there were places like this over there with the same kinds of tables. Later, we discovered several similar neighborhood cafes in Montreal catering to local customers. Cafe Mozart did sell Mozart Chocolates, we always bought a few.
[I was introduced to the Cafe as a teenager, by an earlier girlfriend, a ballet student, who liked my taste in rock & roll & Beat poets enough but thought I needed a bit more culture.]