Friday, March 13, 2009

Coffee with the Stars


If you’ve cried every time you see Meg Ryan with her coffee in “You’ve got Mail”, here’s your chance to re-live the moment. An unassuming little café in New York lets you experience this moment and make your own movie history.

After walking through a place as expansive as New York’s famous Central Park, every warm blooded sweet toothed mammal would be craving to seek out the solace of a great desert den.

That's where Cafe Lalo steps in.Walk a few blocks north to 83rd street  trust me when I say, that the walk will be worth the pot of honey (in this case a groaning cheesecake display) at the end.

Unlike in the movie, make sure you get there early in the evenings, to ensure, if not reduce the waiting time for a table. As the evening progress Lalo’s get jam packed with its regular patrons and first timers like me, out to get their dessert kick.

Lalo Lalo’s is very easy to find, in the evenings, just follow the string of fairy lights, or  the throng of people waiting to get inside. While in the mornings, you can’t but stop to look into the large French windows, showcasing the shelves and counters stacked with every imaginable cake, pastry slice and cheesecake.

The café offers a wide selection for breakfast. The chefs here have really captured the essence of New York here, by catering to every palette here. A true melting point, of cultures. Don’t miss the Authentic Belgian Waffle served with cinnamon whipped cream and pure maple syrup( I know, I know, you put on half a kilo just reading this). Add your choice of pecan or hazelnuts to it and pure sin. For the more adventurous gourmet, a must try would be the traditional Jewish breakfast, comprising of Lake Sturgeon with greens and fresh baked bagels and rugelach. Ask for the Espresso, they make the best Espresso on the other side of the Atlantic.

Alternatively, you can also try the true blue New York breakfast or lighter options such as Swiss or the Irish breakfast.

If you do stroll in for brunch, Lalo’s has a surprising array of items and vegetarians can be assured that there are plenty of options. Go for the grilled sandwiches, which are huge or choose the entrées. You can end your meal with a wide selection of cheese. And if you still have room top it off with frozen yogurt. (Give me calorific sin any day!!)

Now, we get to my favorite part. Lalo’s has one of the largest selections of desserts ever. You can take your pick from the rows of tarts, pies and cakes. A must try the Chocolate Trip, a silky chocolate walnut truffle cake with mixed berry sauce and home made vanilla ice cream. Don’t miss the Hazelnut mousse either. The velvety consistency you just can’t miss. My personal favorites are the New York cheesecake and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse. ( Go in a big group, that way you get such a wide sampling….. bliss). Do ask the waitress what the specials are, because the patisserie team here out do themselves combining chocolate and coffee based deserts with fruit. Round it off with a mug of Lalo’s hot cocoa and you can die and go to heaven a very happy person.

The café is extremely vibrant the waitresses are extremely polite and efficient. The pricing is a little above average. But you really shouldn’t bother, because at Lalo’s it is not just food for the stomach, but for the senses.

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