Place: Popover Café
Neighborhood: Upper West Side, 551 Amsterdam Ave. (between 86th and 87th St.)
The scoop: I took a three-day weekend from work, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start the week than with brunch. My mom also had the day off, so we made it a mother-daughter experience. We wanted to go to a place on the Upper West Side, and at fellow Gang member Jen’s suggestion, we ended up at Popover Café.
We walked into Popover Café, and the aroma of freshly baked bread filled the air. This got us excited to try the popovers, which is what the café is known for. While walking to our table, we noticed only a couple of tables were occupied near the front of the restaurant. As we walked toward the back, the tables got more crowded. Our table was back-to-back with another table, which was too close for comfort. We had to shift our table a bit, so our tables weren’t on top of one another. It was very loud in the restaurant, and with the proximity of the tables, we could hear numerous people talking around us. We wish we were seated in the front instead. As for the décor, hanging lamps were over some of the tables, and all of the tables had a small red lamp on them, which was cute. We enjoyed the classical music playing in the background.
Service was decent. Servers didn’t walk around asking if patrons needed more coffee, which is what you usually see in diner-like places. My mom had to request more coffee.
Bottoms up: Popover Café offers a variety of drinks — from alcoholic to juice to hot beverages. We opted for cranberry apricot punch and coffee.
Cranberry apricot punch $3.95
I was pleasantly surprised at how good this punch was. It was cold and refreshing. The punch is also available hot, which would have been good on a chilly day, but I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. The punch had a nice balance of the apricot and cranberry flavors.
There isn’t much you can say when describing a cup of black coffee. It was of the perfect strength — not too strong, not too weak. As with most restaurants, refills were free.
Chew on this:
Popovers / With strawberry butter
Each omelette came with a popover. Neither of us had ever had a popover before, and we weren’t expecting them to be so light and airy. They were served warm with strawberry butter. I had strawberry butter with brunch at In Vino recently, and Popover Café’s was better. My popover was slightly burned; nonetheless, it was a nice change from toast.
Sauteed mushroom and mozzarella omelette $11 / With rosemary roasted potatoes and a popover
This omelette was made from three eggs and was filled with large pieces of mushrooms, mozzarella and rosemary roasted potatoes. The potatoes were very good and had a strong rosemary taste. I liked how they were chopped up in the omelette instead of on the side. I did feel like there was too much filling for the eggs, though.
Side of turkey bacon / $4.50
The turkey bacon was my least favorite part of our brunch. It was rubbery and hard to bite. I felt like I was eating beef jerky.
Health watch egg white omelette $12.95 / With Jarlsberg cheese, fresh diced tomato, scallions, fresh basil & lightly sautéed mushrooms, served with a low-fat chicken apple sausage (no pork) and whole grain toast or popover
They let me substitute cheeses, so I got mozzarella instead of Jarlsberg. But I felt the same way about my omelette as Stephanie did. There were way too many tomatoes, which made the omelette watery. There was too much filling, and as a result, the omelette did not hold up well. It was even worse since mine was made from egg whites which are lighter than actual eggs. I wasn’t a big fan of the chicken apple sausage, but Stephanie liked it. She thought it was light and tasty.
The final bite: While we did enjoy the popovers, the rest of our brunch was very average. Go for the popovers and a cup of coffee; skip the omelettes.
Reviewed by: Stephanie