Before Del Mocha Vista was born, Bloc 11 Cafe in Somerville, MA was giving the Starbucks mocha a run for its money. Not only do their mocha lattes look and taste better, but this store has so much fun history (it used to be a bank AND you can have a cup of coffee in the old bank vault). On a recent trip to Boston, my grad school roommate Stephanie and I headed to our old stomping grounds for delicious ‘research’.
Oh yum Bloc 11. Just as good as I remembered. Good quality, somewhat bitter cocoa, nice warm temperature. This was smooth and subtle, which was nice, but I’m looking something to WOW me! I would recommend this to anyone searching for a slightly above average mocha.
So answer this: why do your mochas look so much better on your website than they do in real life? And we’re not talking about the picture quality here 😉 So what do you think, fabulous readers? You’ve seen a wide variety of mochas right here, and this is just above average in my opinion. Yes, there is a glimpse of a design, so points for trying, Bloc 11. Yes, their website has a ‘do it yourself’ video for how to recreate this design. But no, drinking out of a cubicle coffee mug does not put me in the coffee shop mood. I would have loved to drink out of nice bug cup and saucer… with or without the silly logo.
Store Ambiance: 7
This place is pretty amazing for many reasons. For starters, this building used to be a bank and the owners (who own nearby quirky coffee shop Diesel Cafe) have preserved some unique parts of the bank, i.e.: the old vault! I am much too claustrophobic to comfortably sit in the vault but it’s beautiful to look at. The Bloc 11 customers were mostly families and friends enjoying a lazy, delicious, overpriced brunch. And what a cool place for brunch it is! SO SPACIOUS. Bloc 11 is like a maze – you can sit at a table by the front windows, in the vault, or in the way back by the fire and board games. Local art on the walls, community board of local events, private coffee tastings for the coffee enthusiast. The industrial, modern interior and the open kitchen made me feel like I was in someone’s home. So the only downside is that this place is not the cleanest. Do people just not like cleaning up after themselves? Stephanie and I went through a few napkins to clean off the crumbs from our wobbly, uneven table. I went to yelp.com to see if others also found Bloc 11 to be a bit on the messy side. Some yelpers had gripes about their lack luster sanitation, and one in particular quoted a few choice words from Bloc 11’s recent health inspection report (“droppings found that are consistent with rat activity… dish rinse below required temperature…”!!!) Who knows how true this is, but perhaps I’ll stick to sitting at their outdoor tables and bringing my own mug from now on.