Residing just up the street at the Palladian Hotel (a comfy-edgy place that says it “embraces Seattle counterculture”), I first was attracted to Moore Coffee by a little sign that says, “try our NEW horchata.” The cool rice-milk drink turned out to be a superior thirst-quencher – thin and brisk rather than thick and creamy, just sweet enough with a faint starchy edge, so good that it invites the sort of straw-sucking that all too easily induces brain freeze.
As I savored the horchata, I noticed a wall-menu entirely devoted to waffles – sweet ones topped with the likes of Nutella, brie & berries, or PB&J; and savory ones such as the Monte Cristo (ham, Swiss, raspberry jam), the Caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil), and one with bacon shreds and mascarpone. As a devoted waffle man, I vowed to return the next morning.
Moore Coffee opens at 6:15 every weekday, but the waffle irons don’t get going until 8am, so I sampled coffee drinks while I waited. Lattes here come decorated with awe-inspiring foam art on their surface. I got one with a detailed image of a cat, then a horchata latte festooned with a heart-shaped pattern that reminded me of a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign. I also enjoyed straight espresso shots that are intensely dark and big flavored but not the least bit bitter or burnt.
Waffles are the thin, crisp, old-fashioned kind, a joy in and of themselves but especially wonderful in the apple-cinnamon incarnation I sampled. For this, a quartered waffle is topped with thin slices of crisp raw apple and a dusting of cinnamon; and in the middle of the plate comes a heap of apples that have been cooked until soft and caramel-sweet. There’s a cup of syrup, too, but I thought it disrupted the plate’s delicate waffle-apple-cinnamon accord.
In addition to waffles, Moore’s food menu includes pastries, sandwiches on French bread or sourdough, quesadillas, and tamales.