Podunk

One of the joy of my life is to take my mother to different afternoon tea spots in NYC when she comes for a visit. It is such a fun experience, and I have taken other family members, friends, and my husband to some of my favorite spots. Since my mother can’t come for visit too often, I continue with my research on new afternoon tea places for when she does. And thankfully, my husband also enjoy the experience of afternoon tea!

I found this cute little place, Podunk, a while ago, but never had the time to go visit. Finally, we decided to go on Valentine’s Day weekend. What a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, don’t you agree? The place looked so cute from the outside, with a wooden bench and really adorable sign.

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Once you walk in, you see the space is not big, but very cozy and welcoming. I really loved how they had all sorts of different tables, chairs, benches and other furniture there. From style to color, to material to size, all different and unique, brought together into one warm space. Even though nothing matches, but yet, somehow it all work together.

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As you can imagine, it can get packed rather easily in this space, but there are still enough room to walk around, so it is not too bad. Everything in here screams cute and cozy. With different sizes of tables, they can accommodate couples and groups.

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And we spotted a very good sign here, that said “please be mindful of the energy you bring to this place. Thank you.” I thought it was a really great message, and I do believe it is important to remember this when you are entering a public space, where people are gathering to have a good time with each other.

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And how serious are they about tea? Just look at their tea pot collections. I think it is safe to say that they are very serious about tea. I love how their tea pots and tea cups are also all different, colorful and unique.

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What I really liked about this place, other than super adorable interior, is the fact that they offer several different afternoon tea menu. Most places I have been to offer one set of afternoon tea, and then changes the quantity of the offering based on the number of party in your group. Here, they offer individual afternoon tea menu based on what you are looking for. You can get just the sandwiches, or just the sweets, or more savory type, or, of course, traditional kind that gives you a little taste of everything. This way, you get exactly what you want, and the price varies depends on what you order. So, the less you want, the cheaper it would be, instead of getting a fixed offerings with fixed price.

We ordered one traditional kind, called Old Friends’ Tea ($29). This set comes with cucumber sandwiches, scones, cakes, cookies, jam & cream. It might not look like much on the plate, but it is surprisingly filling. The cucumber sandwiches were nice, the thing on top of the sandwiches on the photo was crunchy cheese bites. It added extra, strong flavor, I enjoyed it. The scones were hard, I prefer more soft kinds, but they were tasty regardless. The jam and cream were nice, went well with the scones. The cookies and other sweets were really tasty, loved them all. The cake was a rich chocolate bundt cake, coated in chocolate. Great for chocolate lovers.

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The second one we ordered was their special Valentines’s Day menu, called Sweetheart’s Tea ($32). It came with a choice of beef burgundy or cucumber sandwiches, plus scones, jam & cream, kale salad, chocolate bundt cake. Since we were already getting cucumber sandwich with Old Friends’ Tea, we chose beef burgundy with this set. Again, it might not look much, but it was very filling. The beef burgundy came with soft buns which were really tasty, the beef had nice wine flavor, and all the veggies were cooked just right. The mushroom had soaked up the wine sauce, carrots were not too hard nor mushy, the beef was tender and juicy. It was so much better than I expected. The kale salad had some pistachio nuts, which was great, and kale was very fresh. Nice contrast to the beef burgundy.

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With these sets, they come with your choice of tea. We got raspberry black tea and “cupid’s bow” which was rose chili chai. They came in a nice size pot, filled with hot water and loose tea leaves, filling the area with great aroma. They will also give you free refill of hot water if one pot was not enough. The tea had really nice flavor, the raspberry tea had a nice fruity flavor, and the chai tea was soothing and relaxing.

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And if you are wondering what “podunk” mean, you can easily find the answer by looking around the wall decorations. They had many decorations that had the word “podunk” on it, including the definition page off the dictionary, which was really cool.

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The service was great, younger female staff took care of us, she was very sweet and nice, and somehow reminded me of my lovely niece. Oh, one thing to note, they do have bathroom there, but very hard to get to it since it is back of the kitchen. So, it would be better to use the bathroom before you visit this adorable spot. Overall, we had a great Valentine’s Day lunch! I can’t wait to take my mother here, since it is such warm, cozy space, food is nice, price is right, and service is sweet. It is a great spot to relax and enjoy with your friends and family for sure!

Podunk – 231 East 5th Street, New York City, NY  10003

2 thoughts on “Podunk

  1. You are a dream customer come true–when did you snap these lovely pics? I am so delighted you found us and we will look forward to meeting your mother! Thank you for all the kind words and please keep track of us when we move in May! ? elspeth

  2. Hello Elspeth, we visited your lovely tea room on the Valentine’s Day weekend, and we had such wonderful time! Thank you for your tasty food, great ambiance, and warm service, we will be sure to return! I will keep a lookout for when you move to your new location, wishing you a continuous success and smooth moving! XO

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