Popover Cafe

4 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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You won't find a better inexpensive eat in Manhattan

Jun 22, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Food, service, decor, prices...everything!

Cons:No reservations, so long waits during peak hours, particularly weekend brunch.

It isn't often that you find a restaurant where the food, the decor, the service and the prices all make you smile, but Popover's is one of those places.

The food is American, with soups, salads, sandwiches, breakfast foods and of course, the name-sake popover. There is something on the menu for everyone: vegetarians, calorie-counters, sodium-watchers, those not counting anything who just want to pig out, and especially the wee ones with a special children's menu called the "cub board."

Though I have never had anything there I didn't like, I will make a few recommendations. The fruit salad is exquisite. The sandwich called The Butler Did It (smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato and watercress on pumpernickel) is the best sandwich. The pasta salad that comes with the sandwiches is excellent if you like onions, and if you ask nicely they will give you a dish of it as a main course even though it is not on the menu. And you absolutely cannot go to the Popover Cafe without having a popover with strawberry butter (trust me on the butter, it makes it all that much better).

One last note on the food subject, even though the menu has something for everyone, they are wonderful about making substitutions. In fact I was once there with my grandmother and they let her design her own salad from scratch selecting from ingredients in the various different salads that they did offer.

The service is efficient and always with a smile, and if you are observant you may notice what we did after a while: Whomever does the hiring has a soft-spot for plump, voluptuous women and tall, lanky men.

Though some critics find the decor a little too Laura Ashley, I think it is very sweet. Dishtowel-style napkins and honey-bear honey pots adorn the tables, and flowered curtains decorate the windows that run along the lenght of the restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue. The cutest part about the place is that there are teddy bears everywhere. The owner of the restaurant is name Carol Baer, and as you can tell from the children's menu being called "The Cub-board" she has gone with that theme. The place is very kid-friendly and they don't mind if your tot holds on to a bear or two during the meal.

As you can see, I give Popover Cafe a glowing recommendation. The only word of caution that I offer is that they don't take reservations and the line for weekend brunch can go around the block. (Popover's is right next door to Barney Greengrass, which also gets a long line on the weekends, so make sure you get on the right line if you decide to brave the brunch crowd.) But in recent years Popover's has added a gift shop called Plums as well as several complimentary copies of the New York Times which helps ease the wait.

Run, don't walk, to the Popover Cafe!




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