Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Breakfast specialists are rare outside the hotels. This Uptown spinoff of the Peppermill is one of the best of its kind, drawing large crowds for its highly varied selection of breakfast specialties. The menu evolves into lunch without leaving the omelettes behind, until the place calls it a day in early afternoon. Since the Panloa Street Cafe is so deep in its neighborhood, it’s not well known except to its neighbors.
The omelettes, specialty egg dishes, and pancakes are as good as you’ll find anywhere at these prices, in many instances rivaling the work of hotel dining rooms. Many of the breakfasts are unusual in their ingredients. Sandwiches and salads dominate the lunch menu, which is not as great a specialty as breakfast.
Owner Vincent Riccobono also owns the Peppermill, the premier breakfast house in Metairie. He’s the scion of a family that gave us many neighborhood cafes (notably the Buck Forty-Nine Pancake and Steak House) over the years. This place has been a corner cafe in the Carrollton section for a very long time; the immediate previous occupant was the alternate location of the Bluebird cafe, which established the site as a breakfast place. Vincent kept a lot of the bohemian style of the Bluebird, and added his own dishes. He also kept the interior decor, an honest antique.
The L-shaped room wears it age well, with high ceilings and wood-plank walls. The predominant clientele is from the neighborhood, which is so densely populated with young middle-class people (many from the nearby university community) that the place stays very busy with those–especially on weekends.Service moves at a leisurely pace–too much so for some people.
Omelettes, especially the ones with three cheeses and spinach.
Poached egg dishes, especially the ones with seafood.
Pancakes, especially buckwheat.
Mushroom burger (meatless).
FOR BEST RESULTS
Avoid weekends and late mornings during the week, when the place gets crowed and the service bogs down. Restrain your ordering; they serve a lot of food.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The coffee could be a lot better, but that may result in diners’ dawdling even longer than they already do and keeping you from getting a table.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +1
- Value +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +2
- Good for business meetings
- Open Sunday lunch
- Open Monday lunch
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking