In Search of the Real Popover–Is Local the Place? and What About Francois Payard Bakery?


With the demise of the Upper West Side’s beloved Popover Cafe, we have been searching for a replacement for the giant crispy hot fresh popovers that came from the kitchen all day long. PS—we haven’t found one yet, but yesterday we embarked on phase one of our search–Local in the Village.

We turned off Varick and walked along Charlton past a row of really distinguished townhouses–Federal?

greenwich village streetturned left onto Sullivan Street

sullivan streetand found Local, a tiny five-table coffee house that serves the full menu of local, organic, free-range, whole grain, fair traded everything–you name it.

Local menu 2You stand on line and order and they bring you your food.

Rory at Local 2We had called in advance and expected to find our hot crusty popovers waiting. Alas, there was only one popover left from the morning’s batch and it was no longer hot or crusty. They toasted, buttered and jammed it for us along with a really great blueberry muffin and some crunchy seven-grain bread. The iced decaf espresso was outstanding, but was the popover our holy grail?

Local foodNot yet. We did find out, however, that they do bake their own and if you turn up at 7 am on a weekday morning or 9 am on a weekend, you may indeed find the hot fresh crusty popovers we were seeking. By the way, Local’s locals like to eat at its rather charming outside seating area.

Local seating outsideAs we were down there anyway, Rory insisted on stopping at Rocco’s for his Italian cookie fix. On the way, we passed Payard Bakery on Houston, gazed at the very fine offerings

Payard inside 1Payard inside 3and left with two brioches au sucre for breakfast.

Payard brioche sucreWe moved on to Rocco’s, an old favorite, on Bleecker,

Roccos outsidewith its wonderful cookies, pastries, paninis, etc.

Roccos counterwhere once again, Rory made his selections, Roccos Rory selecting cookiesthis time going for hazelnut biscotti

Roccos hazelnut biscotti 2and chocolate hazelnut meringues, both excellent choices.

Roccos chocolate meringue hazelnutSo, all in all,  our trip wasn’t a total loss, and we might even make it back some Saturday or Sunday morning  at 9 am for the hot popovers. After all, a quest is a quest.

 

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