Popover Cafe

Written by on June 17, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(popovercafe.com) – Upper West Side, New York City, New York

How I heard of this place: We were in NYC for the celebratory events marking the Centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to the United States, and needed a brunch spot. After some deliberation and research, Eamon found this popluar place.

Popover Cafe

Type of cuisine: “Popover Café is the singular creation of its originator, Carol Baer. One can dine to please the appetite, mood and pocketbook. Whether you crave a luxurious prime filet mignon dinner, an imaginative vegetarian entree, or simply a goat cheese and spinach omelette or an overstuffed Mad Russian sandwich, on any given evening, Popover’s eclectic menu will entice you. Open daily, Popover Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as weekend and holiday brunch. A children’s menu is available and a light-bites menu is offered in the late afternoon. We offer an International selection of wines and beers.” Carol Baer shares, “The food served is what I like to eat, not necessarily this years trend. I trust my taste, and my customers respond.”

Big Popover

Ambiance: “How can such a homey, inviting and unpretentious restaurant be a New York Institution? All it takes are customers, from near and far, who return over and over, for nearly twenty-eight years to enjoy the innovative comfort food and to enjoy, of course, the famous cloud-like popovers slathered with strawberry butter.” When asked what she was going for, the owner offers, “I aimed to create a warm, welcoming, comfortable atmosphere with appealing, fresh unpretentious food. A place to return to over and over, a place the regulars would consider their own.” We make our way through the ever-present scaffolding and construction that gives New York its look, to the Mediterranean blue frame around the windowed entryway that is the Popover Cafe. The large, “A” grade for sanitary establishments is plainly in sight, next to the laminated five pages of menu options in the window. Curtains of red and gold paisley print are hung at waist-height, against the windows. Inside, a small corridor leads to the back of the room, giving minimal space for those awaiting tables. Half-walls create separations in space between the mini-loft booth seating area next to the coffee supplies and the tables and chairs squeezed into the nooks and crannies adjacent the windows. A white-painted brick wall at the far end of the establishment (to the right) offers more seating, where the light is brighter and the ceilings just as high. The clinking and clanging of dishes, the hustle and bustle of staff, the happy cries of patrons enjoying their fresh, warm popovers can be heard throughout the premises, as we place our orders.

Popover Cafe Setting

What I ordered: It was hard to make a decision, with so many options on the menu. I narrowed it down to brunch items and went from there. In my party, we had one order of the Sauteed Mushrooms, Mozzarella & Rosemary Roasted Potatoes Omelette ($10.95), the Fontina, Roasted Red Pepper, Fresh Spinach & Sauteed Onion Omelette ($10.95), each served with a popover.


From the griddle, we had one order for the Coconut-Almond Crusted French Toast ($11.95) served with fresh, sliced bananas and maple syrup.

French Toast

I couldn’t decide between two, but when one dining companion ordered the French Flopover ($12.95) with brie, roasted pear, diced jambon de Paris & scallions, I went with my second choice (and the highly recommended dish by our server): the Eggs Popeye ($15.75), a split open popover filled with creamed spinach, Norwegian smoked salmon, two fried eggs over easy and a lemon-hollandaise sauce.

Special Egg Breakfast

A basket of three additional popovers ($7.75) for the table came served with strawberry butter.

Basket of Popovers

What I loved: My own dish. Yum! Creamy, rich, tangy and richly prepared.

Why I loved it: While it looks like grandma’s house, the simple, unpretentious space with friendly servers and great home-cookin’ are worth a return visit.

Cost: Average ($10.95 – $15.75 per brunch entree)

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