I don’t remember why, but last week I happened to be walking on Bloomfield Avenue with something known as “spare time” when I noticed a sign in the shape of a coffee cup hanging above a tucked away doorway. “That’s funny,” I thought, “I’ve never seen this sign before.”
The sign contained letters – apparently the name of the establishment. I couldn’t quite decipher the language, and thought it read “Ren” Coffee & Tea House. I spotted two women with yoga mats sitting in large comfy chairs in the bay window. I assumed this must be a safe haven for spending “spare time” and decided to walk in.
Unbeknownst to me, I walked into Trend Coffee & Tea House, a welcoming railroad style space that’s a coffee shop and then some. Owner, Eliott Alex, has created a coffee shop that feels more like your living room; warm colors, soft chairs, dark wood, and a feeling of tranquility.
Trend is a full service coffee shop that makes smoothies and milk shakes, and offers typical coffee house fare like croissants, scones, bagels, muffins, and breakfast egg sandwiches on brioche.
But what makes Trend so endearing, especially from the foodie angle, is that they offer selections that are a few notches up from the typical over-glazed, rubbery, pre-packaged fare of big-box coffee houses. On the menu at Trend Coffee & Tea there is, for instance, a creative panini like “bum steer on ciabatta” ($10), which features roast beef, caramelized onions and pepper jack, and “lemon lobster on brioche” ($17.50) with lobster meat and baby greens with lemon tarragon mayo.
There are also salads, like Cobb, Caesar, and Greek, as well as “the trend” with baby greens, romaine with dried cherries, fresh pears, fresh green apples, gorgonzola , glazed walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. Trend makes quiche ($5.50) with spinach, mushroom and three cheese, as well as broccoli and cheddar.
There are also wraps with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, one with chicken and cranberry salad with pecans, and another called “the shrimp” ($15) with wasabi mayo, baby greens and diced tomato. I’m at a coffee house! Who would have thought?
But this is a coffee house, so there must be some sweets. Indeed there are! The standards, like tiramisu, chocolate ganache brownie, blondie, homemade apple pie, peach pie, ice cream sundae, and fondue for two are all in the offering. Then there are the standouts like baklava, homemade peach cobbler with ice cream, figs with balsamic glaze and French brie, and a fruit and cheese plate.
For those with a major sweet tooth, Trend also has a case full of Stuffed Cupcakes from Nutley. The selections often change, I purchased four cupcakes - Carmita, Bacon Maple, Fandango, and because I felt an obligation to the greatest rock n’ roll band of all time, a cupcake called Emotional Rescue. My favorite? No contest, Fandango, a chocolate cupcake stuffed with caramel mousse and topped with vanilla icing and a piece of caramel. It was smooth . . . .
I’ve very happy to have stumbled into Trend. With free wi-fi and parking in rear of the store (off Glenridge Avenue), it’s the perfect place for snack time, tea time, and spare time.
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411 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042