NEWMARKET - The café sat untouched for months. Wood planks covered the doors with a small note that promised they were “coming soon,” but we were all beginning to doubt it. Yet in early June, the Horse Shoe Café finally opened its doors, marking itself the official second coffee shop of Newmarket, a feat no one dared to attempt for the last 15 years as Crackskull’s Coffee & Books monopolized the industry from their perch on Main Street. Somehow, the Horse Show exceeded everyone’s expectations. The room is small, and minimalistic. A short stack of records rests by the door and reggae or ska music is playing lightly in the background. It is a fabulous spot to work on homework.
The shops sells specialty coffee and home baked goods. Each coffee is described less by adjectives and more by a series of foods that are not in fact coffee. ‘Chocolate, orange, caramel twist, almonds, saffron,’ none of these are actually in the coffee. The coffee is imported, fair trade, from all over the world. Might I recommend you ask Nori, the owner and barista, to just surprise you. He always knows what’s up. It would be a true travesty to add cream or sugar to these brews. Nori hand roasts his coffee every morning around 4 a.m. and the coffee is crisp, sharp and the right kind of bitter.
The Horse Shoe café sells toast; not just toast, but like, toast. I had leavend bread with goat cheese, pepper jelly and bacon. It’s the kind of thing you could eat all day. For five consecutive days I found myself ordering the goat cheese medley and nibbling on it through every meal of my day. It is quite a piece of toast.
Their bacon, egg and cheese is to die for. The shop bakes all of their bread in house, daily, at about 5 a.m. The classic sandwich arrives on milk bread, a flakey loaf with a sharp, crunchy crust. The meal comes with just a dabble of “Kewpie Mayo,” a Japanese version of our classic eggy spread.
Nori, the owner, immigrated to the United States in his youth. He met his wife, the co-owner and bread baker of their shared business, in San Francisco. The two were highly involved in the local “ska,” reggae and skate scene. They try and carry these roots with them throughout their establishment.
To learn more about the brand spankin’ new restaurant, check out the video we made for them on our website.