Until pretty recently, a coffee shop that had anything more than a few sad-looking pastries and maybe a plastic-wrapped sandwich was a rare species. Now, these kinds of spots seem to open every week. Doubting Thomas in Historic Filipinotown is one of them - and while it isn’t the kind of thing you need to cross town for anymore, if you happen to live nearby, you’ll be pretty happy it exists.
At the bottom of a new apartment building on Temple, Doubting Thomas looks just like what you’ve come to expect from these sorts of more-than-a-regular-coffee-shop spots. It’s a long white space, with mismatched furniture, people in corners looking like they’re doing important things on their computer, and people in other corners eating a breakfast sandwich at 2pm because they live very different lives than you. The coffee is good, and the staff is friendly, but it’s really the food that everyone is here for.
There’s enough on the menu that, if you rented one of the apartments upstairs, you could easily come every day and not get bored. While you can get bacon and eggs or a bowl of granola here, you can also have a pork shoulder burrito, a big slab of toast with burrata and tomatoes, or an egg-topped beef rice bowl. The food is hearty and filling, and some things - like the burrito - are truly fantastic. Others, like the rice bowl, end up being a little boring - but not so much that one of their housemade pastries (made with whatever fruit they got at the farmers market) can’t make up for it.
One of those is enough to make you never want to step back in a regular coffee shop again.
We’re not sure why we didn’t think of putting pork shoulder in a breakfast burrito before, but we’re glad Doubting Thomas did. We just wish the green salsa on the side was a little spicier, but otherwise, this is a very good breakfast burrito.
These change all the time, and often include straight-from-the-farmers-market ingredients. We’ve had morning buns with orange, fantastic apple turnovers, nectarine ricotta pastries, and truly excellent pain au chocolat here. You need to order at least one.
If you’re thinking, “that kind of looks like a breakfast burger,” when this arrives at the table, you’re not wrong. Except this comes on biscuits and with a fantastic whole grain mustard, and honestly, that’s better than a burger.
You’ve had plenty of slices of bread with burrata and tomato on top of them. This one is different for two reasons: the fantastic seeded bread on the bottom, and the almond pesto on top.
This is a fine shakshuka. The tomatoes are good, the creme fraiche on top is good, and the mint gremolata on top is good. But there are better things to eat here.
We like the steak on this bowl, but everything else is pretty bland, especially the rice, which mostly just feels like filler.