Friday, June 11, 2010

Catching up at Cafe Lalo

Last weekend, I met an old friend I hadn't seen in years for coffee. She had just moved to the UWS, so I picked Cafe Lalo as our mutual meeting place.

If you've ever seen You've Got Mail, you'll know the place-- the cute cafe where Tom Hanks finds out Meg Ryan is the love of his life. The real Cafe Lalo is a bit louder and a bit less romantic but a bit more packed with delicious sweet treats. The restaurant is dominated by a huge case packed full of cakes, pies, and other delectables, all displayed alluringly and ready to tempt the taste buds. The music was on pretty loudly and the tables are packed together. But ignore all that and you can have something good to eat.

The menu is actually pretty extensive, and since we were there mid-afternoon on the weekend, we were able to choose from the brunch offerings. NS went for a frozen coffee, which came out as thick and delicious as a milkshake.

Anything that comes with a long spoon is just fine in my book

I went for a large tropical fruit salad. This concoction had some strawberries, grapes, papaya, mango, melon, and pineapple, all a little bit over-ripe but still tasty. My one gripe-- and apparently this is common around town, given my experience at Cookshop as well-- is that they serve this fruit salad piled precariously in a rounded cup with the fruit teetering out of the top. WHY? How is it possible to eat this without spilling fruit everywhere? You have to put pressure on the pile of fruit to spear anything with your fork, which inevitably dislodges the key piece of fruit holding everything together and sends the top layer tumbling to the table. Given that this fruit salad was about $7, that's at least a dollar's worth gone off the bat. Okay, rant over, but please, restaurants, serve your fruit salad in a reasonable vessel, mmkay?


That's all. All in all, I liked Cafe Lalo as a place to catch up, and I'd like to return for some desserts. If you're in the neighborhood, give it a try for brunch or another quick bite. Just ask for an extra plate with your fruit salad.

Cafe Lalo
201 W. 83rd Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam

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