I noticed that Irene, a longtime girlfriend of mine, had liked the Rue La Rue Café page on Facebook. Since I wanted to take her out to eat for her birthday and I loved the “Golden Girls” television show when I was younger, we arranged to meet at this new “Golden Girls” themed café for lunch yesterday. The café is in Washington Heights in uptown Manhattan. Don’t let the distance deter you from visiting though because it’s easy to reach by subway. I just caught the “1” train to 191 street and walked a couple of blocks. I even saw some beautiful art down in the 191st street station…
Was the “Golden Girls” restaurant worth the trek to Washington Heights? Yes…and no.
I’ll begin with the “no” part first. As my regular readers know, I am a huge “foodie” so the food is usually the most important thing. The food at Rue La Rue Café (at least during this soft opening) is not worth the trip alone. Overall, the dishes on the menu that we tried were good, not great.
The other “no” aspect for me was the tight space. It was not very spacious at all. (Granted, there is a thin line between cozy and cramped and I need a lot of personal space.)
Despite the two negatives, I still recommend that you visit Rue La Rue with your girlfriends. While this is not a spot that I would take my husband or sons, I would definitely visit again with a “Golden Girls” loving girlfriend.
There were a couple of things that I loved on the menu. The homemade strawberry butter was amazing. The biscuits that it came with were good too. The one menu item that I was completely impressed with was the coconut-flaked “Betty White Cake” that I took home to enjoy. It was $6.50 per slice so I had hoped that it would be good. Thankfully, it was worth every penny! The cake was a bit dense but not overly so. The frosting was awesome and it was one of the best coconut cakes that I have ever tasted. (Initially, I had planned to take home the Dorothy’s Salty Caramel Cheesecake but it wasn’t available. I’ll have to go back again to buy that treat.)
Most importantly, I loved the decor and friendly atmosphere of Rue La Rue Café. The decor was wonderful and made my friend and I feel nostalgic. You can see the decor for yourself below:
The café also had a warm and friendly, inviting atmosphere. The workers were kind and helpful. On a rarer note, our fellow customers were patient, smiling and friendly too. They were scooting over to make room on the bench for others to sit down and enjoy their visit. (You don’t see that very often at NYC cafés and restaurants!) The “Golden Girls” essence basically permeated the spot. Once seats became available, my friend and I had the best time catching up on life. At the end, my friend mentioned, “Thank you for being a friend.” What can I say? We had our very own “Golden Girls” moment! 🙂
In summary, I recommend Rue La Rue Café as a place to visit with girlfriends – especially those who loved Rue McClanahan and/or the “Golden Girls”. The café is still in its soft launch stage so I’m confident that they will work out the details of the menu. Meanwhile, I would suggest visiting the café to enjoy tea and a dessert for now.
(To learn more about the background story of the Rue La Rue Café you can read Inside Rue La Rue, New York’s First and Only Café Dedicated to Rue McClanahan and the Golden Girls on Grub Street.)
Rue La Rue Café
New York, NY 10040
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