The Ever Always Lovely Cafe Lalo

Lalo is probably the most reviewed and viewed cafe on the Upper West Side. It is packed on weekends and in the evenings, as one would only expect from a place so revered by locals and travelers-in alike. Bustling on high volume or early morning serene, this airy, bright space has a time (they open at 8-9am and close up at 2-4am) and place for all who dare climb the steep steps to Parisienne inspired bliss. And they don’t rush you out!

Downside: Don’t expect to get chummy with the waitresses as they seem to float in a new set monthly. And they keep crossing desert favorites off the menu! The brownies are gone…

Dishes I recommend:

1. The fries. They are a crispy, flavorful delight. They come with individual mini containers of mayo, ketchup, and mustard (my favorite).

2. The mint and goat cheese panini is satisfyingly fresh, with a creamy edge.

3. I love the steamed eggs that come with a good old Lalo style “English” breakfast. A berry scone, clotted cream, raspberry preserves, steamed eggs with mixed herbs, Kirby, salad- satisfied all the taste buds!

4. FOR BROKE STUDENTS: $6.50 for organic steamed eggs and two sides. You’ve got the option of the fresh and rustic Tuscan salad, sprinkled with pinenuts and fennel and olives, a deliciously pungent tomato, cucumber, and onion salad, and roasted potatoes with fresh herbs. You can get egg whites and they do not charge you extra.

5. For dessert, try what they call the Chocolate Trip: a rich chocolate walnut truffle cake topped with vanilla ice cream, mixed nuts, raspberry sauce, and a hazelnut cream filled cigar cookie. Ask for a spoon. They will give you a fork, and you must correct them. You need a spoon, or else you’ll find yourself all unfortunate, licking the raspberry sauce and melted ice cream off of your plate.

Cafe Lalo, 201 West 83 Street #1 (212) 496-6031

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