With a prime spot at the corner of Houston and Elizabeth, Cafe Colonial doesn’t have to serve up outstanding food, although brunch is apparently terrific. I was there for dinner on a warm summer evening, and the food was more than passable – but there’s no way it could rival the spectacle of Nolita’s passersby.
My friend and I each enjoyed a ‘Mexican Bloody Mary’, a mix of vodka and tequila with perfectly piquant tomato juice and spices. It was an ideal way to cool down after wandering around the Lower East Side in the heat. We shared some pão de queijo, because we always used to eat that deliriously cheesy bread at our favorite Brazilian restaurant in Beijing, and Cafe Colonial’s version was even better, piping hot and indulgent.
Somehow, we still found room to split a bacon cheeseburger and spinach and goat cheese salad. The burger was well cooked and juicy, with extra crispy bacon (definitely the way I like it), but it was nothing out of the ordinary, just standard bistro fare, really. The salad was a bit more unusual, coated as it was in a thin guacamole. It was quite good, and I would order it again on its own.
The service was quick and unobtrusive, and my only complaint was the bill – average for New York, perhaps, but unmerited by the food’s quality. Still, I would return here, though probably only for brunch or lunch.