When I began Popover Café, 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. I thank all of you who are my regulars and welcome all the newcomers.
In 1981, when a minuscule store became available, I thought about what was missing in the neighborhood eateries. If I liked the food and the price, inevitably I hated the atmosphere. Where I enjoyed the atmosphere, either my wallet or my palette was offended. For my place I set three goals: keep it simple, keep it fresh, and always trust my own taste.
When I opened the door in 1981 with 8 tiny tables, no stove, and no experience (I suppose no stove is a dead giveaway for no experience) I imagined a cappuccino here, an omelette there, a nice salad, some good conversation. The hammers and vacuum cleaner were hardly put away when customers were at the door ready for a shakedown cruise of hot plate omelettes and popovers from tiny household convection ovens. We were full. My Mom and Dad, dressed up for the opening, were shoe horned into the makeshift kitchen for dish washing duty. And so it began.
Almost thirty years later (yes, I have a stove and now seat 100) my original tenets hold true for me. I strive to serve the best food possible, using the freshest quality ingredients. The food served is what I like to eat, not necessarily this years trend. I trust my taste, and my customers respond. The same lovely people return, some every week, or day, or on every visit to New York. They come with their families, on dates, or by themselves or with friends. They come for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert—anytime, any mood. It is my greatest pleasure that I have met so many wonderful customers and friends over the years.
Sincerely, Carol Baer