by Danielle Svetcov
Curious Liquids, at the corner of Beacon and Park Streets, is a paragon of
coffeehouses. It has antique wing chairs tucked under exposed-brick alcoves,
counterpeople with foreign accents, larger-than-life espresso drinks and pastries, a view of the Common -- even
a shelf jammed with a quirky array of books (Introduction to Pascal;
Truman Capote's In Cold Blood; a 1988 University of Texas yearbook). The
glowing, Hopperesque yellow walls on the first floor draw passersby to a
"pastry wall" stocked with fancy cookies, scones, and pies (65 cents to $2.50).
And the liquids prepared here are both common and curious; one of the most
refreshing is "Simply Red," which blends hibiscus with pear, apple, and lemon
and other citrus juices ($2.86). The tasty California-esque sandwiches and
salads, supplied by a Somerville caterer called Sumptuous Food, include roast
beef with sun-dried-tomato-and-olive paste on a French roll, and Mediterranean
tuna salad with lemon, capers, and field greens. All cost less than $5. The
large wooden tables downstairs are perfect for spreading out with a laptop and
books, or for chatting quietly over caramel-apple lattes ($3.15). The building
was once General Lafayette's headquarters. He's probably kicking himself for
relinquishing it now.
Curious Liquids, located at 22B Beacon Street, in Boston, is open Monday
through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 720-2836.