I read previous reviews about SpaHa and decided to check out the restaurant myself. I would agree with most comments that the place is cute and quaint. Yes, it is small but that also adds to the coziness of this French/Italian café. When you enter, every bit of counter space is filled with goodies that would please a variety of palates.
However, behind the counter I expected to see many types of breads but unfortunately they had sold out of almost everything. Now, that could also be a good sign. After all, it was late in the afternoon and I didn’t know if they were transitioning into an evening menu. So I simply selected a ½ portion of Turkey and Swiss cheese on a French baguette. It was not hard or dry, as noted by a previous reviewer, and contained all the trimmings. Since I was only looking for a light bite I then moved on to something sweet. There were pies, cupcakes, tarts, an assortment of other desserts, and fat free Rice Krispies squares.
Although the items were not perfectly uniform as you would find in a large store emphasizing quantity, I rather enjoyed seeing the less conforming red velvet cupcakes supporting each other in the food display case. Presentation does account for successful marketing but it doesn’t mean that products have to have that template appearance. I finally chose the hand made caramels. Soft and more rich than sweet, it was a perfect finish to my savory snack.
SpaHa is a business that supports the local community, environment, and social issues through its presence and bringing together people in a warm and friendly setting. I hope they will continue to be a part of Harlem.
1872 Lexington Ave. (116th St.)