Fort Lauderdale's Alternative Crowd Flocks to Undergrounds Coffeehaus
Atop the floral-carpetted stairs to the unmarked door, the shop serves whimsical coffee, so sweet it doubles as dessert. They also dish up more typical lattes, cappuccinos, and tea, but the sprinkles and whip cream of their signature drinks are customer favorites.
Try the banana split sundae coffee because whipped cream, assorted sprinkles, and chocolate syrup make everything better.
The Peanut Butter Cup is prepared with melted peanut butter, chocolate syrup, espresso, and steamed milk. The drink is so thick, it's served with a spoon. The Banana Split Sundae is a mixture of chocolate and strawberry syrup with espresso. For those in need of a jolt of caffeine, the Stern is made with espresso, Coca Cola, a dash of cream, and Nescafe on top. With an uncanny ability to recommend the perfect cup of joe, the eponymous Aileen Special is a recommendation made by Liptak or the trained staff after a personality quiz of likes and dislikes.
In addition to coffee, the shop also serves Hot Pockets, biscotti, popcorn, cereal, and anything that can be whipped up with just a microwave. A popular must-have has been the tatter tots. From celery salt to jerk chicken or curry, there are over 40 flavors to chose from.
Other than the kitschy paintings and random knick nacks, hundreds of books line the blood red walls. Organized by category, the literature is available for sale or in-house reading. Board games like monopoly and connect four can be taken to the homey red couches. A guitar is left out for anyone to strum out on the balcony.
"It's a great place for a blind date," Liptak touts. "There's a lot of action and something is always going on. We've seen couples date here and eventually get married and have children."