Ashley Jaffe and Zach IsraelBy Claudie Benjamin

No, not muffins, which love them or leave ‘em, are actually cake.

Ashley Jaffe, co-founder with her husband, Zach Israel, of their newest venture, Slate Cafe, has a well-developed “modern” point of view about breakfasts with a strong focus on health and offers delicious, gluten-free, and colorful vegetarian options all day. Ashley noted, “Not exclusively. We have a full-service menu with some GF and vegan offerings!”

The cafe, located on the West 74th Street side of the Ansonia at 2109 Broadway, occupies the tiny space that for the past 30 years housed the Margot Patisserie. Fortunately, the building’s landlord recently worked with Ashley and Zach to allow the cafe to expand into unused office space and a portion of an elevator shaft that was not in use. “Now we can seat 28,” said Ashley happily.

The couple lived on 72nd Street and Broadway for a long time until, with two children, they required more space and moved downtown. With a deep affinity for the Upper West Side, they were awed by the charm of the historic Ansonia and thrilled to find a space that was available and could be renovated to meet their needs.

Ashley and Zach have owned Slate Midtown and NoMad for some time. Slate’s Upper West Side location will have menus similar to those at the other two eateries, with two notable additions: Green Goddess Chicken Salad Wrap and BLT Flatbread.

Avocado toast lovers tend to order this item whenever they go to make comparisons and determine favorites. “Avocado toast is definitely our most popular item,” Ashley said. Straightforwardly described on the menu, it is certainly a novel take on an avocado—whose popularity started growing in the U.S. in the mid-1980s and seems to be growing by the minute.

So Slate’s answer to the avocado toast craze is a mash of avocado with “chili honey, smoked salt country bread.” Going for something sweet? Ashley recommends Rose Berry Belgian waffles, rosewater berries, and sweet cream. Mmmm!

For a heartier breakfast, Ashley suggests a breakfast bowl: “warm farro, kale, wild mushrooms, squash, feta, avocado, sunny-side-up egg with pepita cilantro drizzle.” And, “a not quite healthy” indulgence for vegans and non-vegans alike: Sweet Toast features banana bread with a coconut topping.

The cafe opens at 7:30am week days and at 8:00am on weekends. Beyond breakfast, lunch, beer and wine will also be served along with sandwiches and small bites that highlight vegetarian creativity and gluten-free options along with many other menu options for a pre-dinner, pre-theater snack as the cafe closes at 5:00pm.

Customer service with an emphasis on friendliness is an integral part of the Slate concept. Ashley interviews staff looking for employees that will not only be great coffeemakers but contribute to making this new neighborhood cafe a welcoming place that draws local regulars.

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