The Coziest Nook: Popover Cafe

*** Very sadly, Popover Cafe close earlier this year, 2014. You’ll forever be in my heart!
Popover Cafe is an establishment on the Upper West Side. On the average weekend morning, you will find that the population is not touristic, though the place has a good reputation. Instead you will encounter grandparents, kids, and their kids, waiting for the large booths up front. Twenty-something’s come with their significant others, college students (who, in this neighborhood, often live with their parents) sleepwalk in with friends from the neighborhood, and older couples sit up front where they can always get a waiters attention fast, when necessary. The Upper West Side is where we still have some old New York left and it is due, in part to places like this, where families gather.

The atmosphere is like a slightly dilapidated turn of the 20th century living room- a little stuffy, with red upholstered booths, marblesque tables, and hanging lights that keep the room sufficiently dim and somehow jazzy, in my opinion. It is cozy, warm, and welcoming, on top of all the deliciousness that draws in old timers and new crowds all week long. Here are some recommendations for what newbies might want to try on the vast and odd menu.

0- Yes: get a Popover! The strawberry butter is the best I’ve had beyond my mom’s kitchen. Cut open the crispy shell, fill the fairly massive bready thing with butter, and enjoy.

1. Go ahead and get a fancy warm beverage with the housemade whipped cream. You know you want to and it is worth it. It comes yin-yang style.

2. For a sweet brunch experience, try the lemon ricotta pancakes with berries and lemon syrup. If you’re a fan of citrus, these will, without a doubt, satisfy your craving for sweet n tart taste bud action. The pancakes are perfect every time (see picture).

3. They have odd, egg-y dishes, called “flopovers,” that should be tried at least once: my favorite is the one filled with brie and somewhat smushy pears, apples, and raisins. The choice is yours: enjoy it somewhat savory or sweeten further with the real maple syrup they put on the table.

4. Borscht! And popover. You’re set.

Popover Cafe, 551 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-595-8555

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