Another year gone. And I don’t mean 2014, I mean the year of the horse. Yesterday marked the beginning of the lunar calendar, the traditional beginning of the new year in China past when time was governed by the cycles of the moon and the harvesting of the crops.
Shiraz and I celebrated “New Years Eve” with our favorite Chinese family, the owners of the little shop at the entrance of our neighborhood. Over the past two years, we have become great friends, and they invited to eat a feast of Shanghai specialties to usher in the year of the Sheep.
Chinese New Year is the largest annual human migration in the world. Everyone leaves the cities en masse for their ancestral homes in the countryside. Traveling during CNY is about as fun as running around in a sea of Legos with no shoes on, so we stayed put. Even though Shanghai empties out, I quite like the chill vibe of the city during the holiday. The only bad thing is that everything is closed. Want to eat out? Hope you like McDonalds.
Luckily for me, a coffee shop that I have wanted to try for quite sometime stayed open to fulfill the brunch and coffee needs of Shanghai’s lonely expats: Sumerian.
Sumerian is a coffee institution in Shanghai. They make everything from lattes & cappuccinos to hand dripped coffees & spiced chai . Using seasonal beans from China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Colombia & Guatemala, you can buy a cup. or a bag of whole beans to take home. Their tiny store is always full, and will be even more so now that they have added a food menu courtesy of Boom Boom Bagels. If you don’t mind the crowd and a little wait, the coffee and food are both delicious.I would definitely come back again and again for these bagel sandwiches. They are reasonably priced (40-60 RMB ), the bagels are fresh & chewy and the fillings are delicious.
I got the Jalapeno Club Sandwich (55 RMB, $8.75) which was chicken, lettuce, sundried tomatoes and bacon on an everything bagel, with a “jalapeno ranch” on the side. It was really more like a sauce, as it definitely wasn’t ranch dressing, but I won’t complain because it was fresh and tasted better than ranch dressing ever could.Being the sucker for breakfast food that he is, Shiraz got the Egg & Cheese Bagel, which was egg, tomato & melted mozzarella cheese (35 RMB, $5.60) He added some bacon for a few kuai more, which really made the sandwich in my opinion. I managed to sneak a bite and a picture before it was devoured.
The sandwiches were great. The bagels were perfectly toasted, the bacon was thick and salty, and the veggies were fresh & crunchy. What more could a girl ask for?We both had a cappuccino, sweetened with organic agave nectar, because why not? The coffee was delicious, of course, and made even more amazing by a visit from Sumerian’s resident pups. One of them wanted in on our bagels, but I wasn’t about to share. The other one was all about sunbathing by the door, cutest guard dog ever.
Sumerian is a great place for a well above average cup of coffee, and with the addition of Boom Boom Bagels it is going to become one of my go-to brunch spots. Luckily for me, it is right next to Dogtown if the craving for a taco and a beer strikes during my coffee break.
Sumerian is on Shanxi Road at the crossroads with Beijing Xi Road. They are going to open up another branch on Anfu Road, which will be great for a little post- Avocado Lady shopping spree coffee.
Check out their website here , Happy year of the Sheep!