When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching “Friends” on television. It had few, if any, Black people, but my Carter G. Woodson brain hadn’t been activated so I could enjoy the show’s wittiness and writing without getting caught up on how white it was. I really enjoyed the characters gathering at Central Perk Coffeehouse because it mirrored what I envisioned my life would be at 23-years-old. My large group of friends and I were nerds who met up at each other’s houses. We tried to establish our own Central Perk-type locale to no avail.
Cincinnati, Ohio has a Black owned coffee and sandwich shop version of Central Perk. It was spacious, but also quaint and cozy. Boasting a bountiful wine selection, a tasty menu with charcuterie boards, French inspired sandwiches, and fresh salads, Muse Café located at 3018 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211 caught my interest.
Mrs. Shawnteè Stallworth Schramm is one of two visionary friends behind this awesome brand in the city’s Westwood neighborhood; an accomplishment which helped earn her Woman of the Year honor by the city’s local newspaper. The impeccable operations and delivery of the café’s delicious food were undoubtedly factors in this honor.
I started with a luscious and gorgeously designed latte and a delectable sandwich called Mr. Crunch! All the sandwiches were amazing with quality meats and cheeses, reminiscent of a decadent Jambon-Beurre made by Chef Claude in Miami that had me after one bite! The French make some bomb a$$ sandwiches, and so does Muse. They are crispy, buttery, cheesy, and DELICIOUS!
If you’re a fan of the French and their sandwiches, cheeses, and wines, then you’ll LOVE this spot. I ignored my lactose intolerance to enjoy a small charcuterie board with port salut, a cheese so wonderful I ended up making everyone mad on the ride home. It a was semi-soft, pasteurized cow’s milk cheese with a distinctive orange rind and a mild flavor that goes well with salty crackers, bread, and of course the thinly sliced prosciutto on the board.
Believe it or not, I did not have a favorite sandwich because they were all incredibly delicious. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of them because they are thoughtfully made with quality ingredients. Their salads are flavorful, with a nice texture, and help balance the butter and cheese from the sandwiches.
Muse Café sources its meats, cheeses, and breads from local artisans, getting their milk from a local dairy farmer. You really won’t want to leave, with the stellar hospitality, great food, craft bottled beer, and even live music every week. Muse Café is definitely The Hungry Black Man approved. I can’t wait to come back and sip a latte while crunching down on any of their incredible sandwiches! You can reach them at (513) 906-7743.