Shop Talk: Black N Brew

The South Philly cafe turns five

Colleen DeCesare (left) and Jennifer Kaufman (right) (photo by Courtney Apple)

They’ve won awards – for their pancakes. Colleen DeCesare and Jennifer Kaufman set up shop on East Passyunk Avenue just as the LGBT scene was starting to emerge there, becoming a kind of Gayborhood for the South Philly set.

As the couple celebrates Black N Brew’s fifth anniversary this year, they’re sticking to an original recipe of coffee with a side of very creative comfort food.

“I had been collecting menus since I was 18,” says DeCesare, who was raised in Drexel Hill before moving downtown. Today, she and Kaufman – a New York native – share both a home and a sincere love of breakfast.

“I used to go out to breakfast all over the city, and every place I went, the feeling was the same – full and bloated,” says DeCesare, who makes a mean turkey Reuben during weekend brunch.

The culinary couple also serves up plenty of divine dishes for neighborhood vegetarians, like a “veggie-licious” scramble and mango-coconut pancakes. Another popular specialty, the breakfast BLT is served with two fried eggs, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo with a side of the cafe’s signature home fries.

Black N Brew, 1523 East Passyunk Avenue, 267-639-6070.