American Girl Cafe, New York

It's kind of sad that my first time at an American Girl Cafe had to happen without The Pea, but when you're invited by American Girl (as a thank-you for participating in their recent Shine On Now campaign), you don't say no. A week ago today I was invited to brunch at the American Girl Cafe in New York with four other bloggers and representatives from American Girl. The American Girl Place in New York was just a five minute walk from the Hilton NY, where I was staying for the BlogHer conference, so I arrived early enough to walk through the store.

Posters at AG Place promoting Innerstar University

The store displays and layout were completely different from what they were on my last visit to American Girl Place NY. This time around, the main focus was their latest version of the Just Like Me doll -- My American Girl, and her online counterpart on American Girl's new online world, Innerstar University.

Posing beside the Innerstar University poster

As usual, I took lots of photos so The Pea could see what everything looks like (I'm just glad she's already been to the AG Place in Chicago, so she doesn't think Mama is having all the fun. Even though Mama is having all the fun.).

All my previous photos of the American Girl Cafe have been ones that I managed to take from the entrance, but this time, armed with a reservation, I was actually able to walk in and snap to my heart's content.

The beautiful place setting at AG Cafe

The place settings are adorable, matching the pink-black-white decor perfectly (no doubt some of the parents already knew that, since their little girls were dressed to perfection in black and white outfits that would look great in their photos). The napkin ring is actually a girl's ponytail holder, which we were allowed to take home as a souvenir (so at least The Pea got something to remember my visit).

The cute black-and-white dotted box contained little conversation cards that girls could use to keep themselves entertained until the food arrived. I don't know whether we were allowed to take those home or not; if I had been there with The Pea, I confess I might have been tempted to try, but I was too shy to do so in front of all the other bloggers. It might have not looked too good if one of American Girl's Shine On Now parent partners were thrown out of the American Girl Cafe for petty theft!

Yummy cinnamon bun appetizers

These tiny cinnamon roll appetizers were delicious! Not that we needed appetizers given the huge meal that was to follow, but hey, for $20 per person I'm glad the cafe pulled out all the stops.

For brunch, cafe patrons can choose from a number of selections. I warned the other bloggers that I was kind of weird about obsessively photo-documenting everything at the American Girl Place; being bloggers themselves, they completely understood, and allowed me to photograph their orders, thereby saving me the embarrassment of having to approach strangers at other tables and asking them if I could take photos of their food.

Breakfast quesadilla at AG Cafe
This is the Breakfast Quesadilla. This was one of two vegetarian selections, but I opted for the Veggie Quiche, which came with fruit.

Eggs benedict at AG Cafe
Here's the Eggs Benedict, which came with fruit and hash brown potatoes.

French toast sticks
The French Toast sticks looked and smelled amazing. They were ginormous slabs of toast, served with two fat sausages and a generous helping of fruit. When these arrived, I kind of regretted not ordering them myself.

My order -- veggie quiche
That is, until my vegetarian quiche arrived. The quiche tasted heavenly, with just the right amount of cheese and cream in the filling, surrounded by a flaky, buttery crust. All portions were huge (I was only able to finish half of the quiche) and I cannot imagine any little girl being able to tackle it all. I wonder if they offer doggie --or dollie -- bags?

Dessert  -- chocolate mousse and a cookie
If you ever get a chance to eat at an American Girl Cafe, don't forget to leave room for dessert! The chocolate mousse in its little flowerpot, with plastic daisy decor and accompanying butterfly sugar cookie, is almost too pretty to eat -- but it's so cute, you just have to.

With my brunch date, Rebecca
The best thing about the brunch was the company -- not just the human company, but the inanimate diners! Little girls brought their own American Girl dolls, but if you don't have one the Cafe has a huge selection that diners can borrow while they're there. I asked Rebecca if she would like to be my brunch date, and she smilingly agreed (I think). Rebecca got to sit in a little pink booster seat that attached to the table top. She even had her own little ceramic plate and mug! The Cafe stopped short of actually serving AG-sized food, but Rebecca assured me she didn't mind, because she was on a diet.

I had a great time at the American Girl Cafe, and I can understand why parents are willing to splurge on a meal there. The only thing missing from the whole experience was The Pea! Next time, Pea, next time.....

For more photos of the American Girl Cafe at the American Girl Place in NYC, check out my Flickr photoset.


M3 said...

Looks like little-girl heaven!! We took Ro and Ree to the store in Chicago, it was their first time, and their eyes were huge (and their grins). Tried to get lunch reservations, but we were too late. Next time!

Aspen Real Life said...

I still am amazed at this concept of having a doll that looks just like your child. Having boys I'm completely removed from this fantasy world. I wonder what brunch at Legoland is like?

Had fun dancing with you, near you, on the dance floor at BlogHer.

Sad that we didn't get a chance to connect more!