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Upper West Side >
B. Cafe West
Posted by Beer Lover on 01/12/2010
The food here varies widely, depending on what you order. What disturbs me more, however, is that they do not fill the beer glasses. They have the skinny tap spouts as they do in Holland, but since these tend to create more foam, the "head" tends to take more glass volume than a regular American draft. The way the Dutch/Belgians compensate for this is to knock the head off with a knife kept in water on the bar for that specific purpose, followed by another pour until the glass is full with a short head and more beer. On several occaisions (different bartenders) we have received a glass of beer which is 1/2 or more head, so it seems to be training or house policy. The beer is good but at 1/2 glass for $9, it's a ripoff.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/09/2010
Great beer, really good mussels and burgers, the best fries. Friendly and attentive helpful staff. Good food, it was exactly what I expected for a nice local place. They love Kids, which is always nice.
Posted by love2eat on 12/30/2009
We just received our first order by delivery and were exceptionally disappointed. Everything was cold and there was gravy all over everything in the bag. This could be chalked up to a long wait from when the food left the kitchen until its arrival at our home. But there were a couple major flaws with the delivery packaging. First, the pate, while a reasonable portion, was accompanied by only two meager pieces of toast and no bread was included with the order. This was inexcusable and surprising. Second, the apple beignets (sans-confectioners sugar!) were packaged with a portion of ice cream inside the same box-essentially an ad-hoc icebox to chill the beignets. Since the majority of the menu is deep fried, they should at least make an effort to deliver quickly and keep the hot items hot. We called the restaurant upon receiving this disastrous delivery to report our disappointment and were told that our order arrived in the manner it was intended to. The manager, Lisa, said that for future orders we should ask for her and she'd somehow improve the quality. Nevertheless she seemed disinterested in our complaints and made no offer to make things right. At best, when ordering for delivery B Cafe West offers overpriced "hangover food" comparable in quality to an average nyc diner. At worst, we would have preferred Burger King, even at the same price ($75 dinner for 2). And that's pretty bad.
Posted by anonymous on 12/30/2009
Hard to believe this place survives when the UWS is filling up with decent-good places within walking distance. Been there last night - had reasonable Salmon Tartar, inedible "chicken stew" that had nothing to do with a stew (waiter didn't asked, but after we complained it was taken off of our check), two bad salads, a very small and mediocre Bouillabaise, and a terrible, stale Belgian waffle. In a cheap restaurant, this kind of performance would more than a little frustrating; in a restaurant charging $20-$25 per entree, that is simply unacceptable. The only ray of light was the beer, but those can be found in other places. We will definitely not be back.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/27/2009
I have been here twice with my family. We had the mussels the first time and they were pretty good. However, we returned tonight and the food was disappointing. The carbonnade flamande was especially poor. Such a standard Belgian specialty, and one that is prepared entirely in advance, should have been flawless. However, the misspelling on the menu should have tipped me off as well as a peek into the kitchen through the window from where I could see that none of the cooks looked Belgian. The meat was stringy and even burnt in places. The overly thick sauce was cloyingly sweet and overwhelmed the dish. The hamburger was ok, as was the bouillabaisse. The croque monsieur was tasty at first but too heavy. As for desserts, the berries with cassis sorbet were good. However, the sundae was mediocre and the apple beignets were downright lousy. The apple had absolutely no flavor. All we could taste was grease. Still, the beer menu is impressive. I might return for a salad and a beer but nothing that requires any real cooking skills.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/11/2009
I live close by and have eaten here three times now. Food is always above par and priced reasonably. The beers are superb and they keep the draught lines clean so you can tell. The problem is the wait staff can be spotty at best. I recently ate at the bar and the bartender was doing some very bad Three Stooges schtick (way out of character for the place) but what really bothered me was that he had no idea how to pour a beer. No, I guess it's too much to ask to have a plastic blade to knock off the head as they do in the low countries, but he would tap the beer in such a way that the head consumed 50% or more of the glass's volume. At $7-9 a glass, I want my money's worth.
Posted by anonymous on 11/10/2009
This restaurant is beyond excellent. The French fries are to die for, and the rest of the food is extremely tasty. They have the biggest beer variety I have seen in a NY restaurant in a long time, and the beers are all reasonably priced. Sitting inside, you would believe yourself to really be in Europe. It is a great dining experience and I recommend it to everyone I know!