penelope, new york city

new york on a crisp january day... sadly the person indulging herself was not me but my lovely friend judy. during her trip she discovered a fabulous breakfast place, which she wants to tell everyone about. over to you jude…

an oasis in the midst of an unassuming area of mid town, penelope’s was a gift from the gods. staying in the definitive budget hotel on east 30th, our first task was to find that morning cup of coffee for me and tea for my friend kay. it was not looking good. on one corner was the brazil coffee shop: tea-less and the food wasn’t quite what we had in mind for breakfast. while we stood on that cold corner deciding whether to head up town, go to starbucks or take a chance on one of the diners, the sun shone on penelope, the paint work a little worn, the canopy needing replacing. we crossed the road just to see what it had to offer. the menu promised everything we could hope for and coffee and tea for every persuasion. the test was whether it fulfilled its beguiling promise so desperately needed to boost our flagging spirits and, in particular, my caffeine levels.

up the rickety steps to a swell of lively chatter, the young woman waiting there looked like a student from julliard ready to burst into a song of welcome. the ambience was vibrant and warm; and the smell of coffee captivating.

hurrah we were in new york and the city welcomed us. we had fruit juice, pancakes and maple syrup served with a side of fresh fruit (strawberries, blue berries and melon). the double cappuccino convinced me i was in heaven. i had more. following our initiation, we used penelope’s for our early morning fillip for the rest of our stay and enjoyed a different dish of fresh and well cooked ingredients every day: perfect eggs, bacon crispy but not teeth challenging, interesting sausage and not a favourite, irish oats – porridge to you and me, french toast, delicious jam and wonderful pumpkin waffles., all served with a infectious smile and breathtaking willingness.

from the moment we found penelope’s our visit took on a different hue because we knew that if all else failed - and in the usa the food experience is very similar to buying a lottery ticket - there was somewhere to go for succour.


corner of east 30th street and lexington avenue, new york