Life Cafe Blog

Archive for November 2008



Thanksgiving at Life



A New Life

We would love to introduce you to the new Life and its new menu for brunch


Thanksgiving Day 10 am to 5:30 pm (last seating). We close at 7 pm.

Black Friday Brunch 10 am to 4:30 pm. All Day Menu served till 2 am

Murray’s Free-Range Organic Turkey 26.00

served with house-made stuffing with apples & dried cherries along with maple candied yams and roasted root vegetables infused with Southwestern seasoning

and don’t forget our homemade pear/cranberry chutney

includes cup of rutabaga apple soup or roasted beet salad with warm goat cheese, coffee, tea or beverage and

dessert of rustic sweet potato pie (chunky) or apple & dried cherry pie

Stuffed Acorn Squash (Vegan) 30.00

With apple/dried cherry stuffing drizzled with anasazi bean sauce, five-grain croquettes (organic jasmine rice, amaranth, teff (a healthy wheat alternative), quinoa & millet), steamed root vegetables and hijiki drizzled with miso/tahini sauce

Includes cup of squash potage (a winter squash soup) garnished with watercress or carrot mint salad,

coffee, tea or beverage and

dessert of pear/cranberry crisp or

lemon tofu cheesecake with strawberry topping


now served with fresh house-made breakfast delectables of

scones, biscotti, muffins and more

And a lot of exciting twists on many of your old favorites

Life Cafe

Yes, we all have had a lot of ups and downs recently in the world, but Life goes on. We elected a new President and started down a path of change. Speaking of change, we’ve got a lot of fresh new things happening at the East Village Life Café that compliments nicely with Barack Obama’s message of hope. Our sister location, Life Café NINE83 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, is tweaking things up too.

Welcome to the first post of the Life Café Blog! I’ve been planning to launch our own blog for weeks, and I’m really excited to use this medium as another way to connect with you. This post concentrates mostly on the East Village café as there’s so much to update. We’ll keep you posted on what goes on the Bushwick here as well.

My life’s been entwined in Life Café for 28 years (as of this month actually!). My goal has been to provide an open door, a haven for all who walk in. It’s always been more than just a business; Life Café has been a way of life for me, even if it’s tougher than most. Life Café is more than great food; it’s about people connecting to people.

In future blogs we plan to share the funny, amazing or just plain interesting stories that abound at Life Café from the past, present & possible future. We’ll also post the weekly specials for both the E. Village and the Brooklyn cafes and anything else newsworthy. For this one, though, I just got to tell you what’s new in the East Village first because I’m really energized about it.

We have a new chef, new & improved menu items, a new mangeress (as John, my Yorkshire, England, husband would call her), an ever–changing beer and wine menu, an expanded “Rescue Breakfast/Lunch Deal” and a slew of events planned for the coming months. We’re doing a special brunch in the East Village on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. So let’s get started.

Our new chef is Vincent Viseclia who’s a pastry chef too, so we’re looking forward to some great baking. For brunch, he’s already introduced scones (espresso-chocolate and berry vanilla), muffins (Blue Heaven and carrot) and a new cornbread recipe. Scone and Muffin flavors will change weekly. His cornbread is light and moist. I couldn’t believe my first bite; it reminded me of the wonderful cake my Lithuanian grandmother used to bake for us kids back in Detroit in the 50s and while we all pine for it, no one in the family knew her recipe! Imagine my delight. Funny thing, Vincent reminded me he used to make muffins for Life Café back in the 80s. Come to brunch and you’ll have a basket of these baked wonders on the table just waiting for you to bite into. Also new to brunch is his light and tender Belgian Waffles served with fresh berries and assorted fruits with maple butter. Also new to brunch (as well as for breakfast during the week) is his light and fluffy pancakes and his French Kiss, French toast made with Brioche and his special batter topped with bananas poached in rum served with pastry cream. The staff raves about them so you know they have to be good. Crepes are coming soon!

He has a new source for our ground beef and turkey for our burgers that are moist and juicy and surpasses most others. These cost us a little more, but he assures me you’ll love them so much I won’t be sorry because you’ll keep coming back for more.

Thanksgiving at the East Village café will be especially delicious. We’re serving brunch Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 27th from 10am to 5:30 pm (last seating). We close at 7 pm. A special brunch menu includes a delicious turkey dinner platter made with Murray’s organic free-range turkey and a Vegan platter. We’ll also have something a little different on the regular brunch menu available. On Black Friday, November 28th we’ll serve the same brunch menu from 10 am till 4:30 pm. We’ll have the details in the next blog.

Bushwick Life Café will be closed Thanksgiving Day but will be opened on Black Friday at 11 am as usual and serving up brunch until 4:30 pm.

If your change purse is a little low, when you come in Monday through Friday between 10 am and 4 pm (for a limited time) you’ll find our “Rescue Breakfast/Lunch Deal“. Get two eggs, oven-roasted potatoes, toast or cornbread and coffee or tea OR buttermilk pancakes and coffee or tea for $4.25. We also run a lunch special for $5.95, a combo that includes a tasty soup of the day and a special half sandwich which have been selling very well. Hey, whatever we can do to help out until the “bailout” kicks in (let’s hope that it won’t be as long as some predict). We don’t expect to save the world, but we’ll save you some breakfast.

Andy Mills, the Beverage and Bar Manager at NINE83 treks all the way from Bushwick Life Café and helps us out in the East Village. He rotates beers regularly. Newest on tap is Six Point Brownstone. We also have Blue Moon Belgian White, Magic Hat #9 along with favorites Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stella Artois, Guinness and Brooklyn Lager. A couple of new bottled beers Andy’s brought in are Sam Adams Octoberfest, Hoptical Illusion Ale and Victory Prima Pilsner.

I love staying local with the Brooklyn Brewery microbrew brand. They were the first beers I brought in to Life Café when we got our first license to sell alcohol, a beer and wine license. Back in Lansing, Michigan, I used to make my own beer and wine and I was really tempted to brew beer on 10th St. and Ave. B. While the 80s East Village was a no-man’s (and no-wo-man’s) land, I figured I’d better not create any more problems than we already had in the neighborhood by selling a home brew. There must have been a law against it. Oh, well.

The red wines Andy’s brought in recently have been well received. Particularly popular are the full-bodied Francis Ford Coppola Shiraz that sings of California sunshine for a chilly fall afternoon. The Wyatt Cabernet Sauvignon has a distinctive flavor of cinnamon and raisins, very nice for this time of year.

That reminds me; we’ve brewed up some tasty hot mulled cider — you’ll get a whiff of the mulling spices when you walk in the door…so good.

Rebecca Hailey’s been bartending for us for two months and became a manager at the end of October. She’s “a smile on legs” as my husband says and she will indeed make you smile because she’s just like that. Originally from New Jersey, she comes to us via Philadelphia. She’s brought some of that Philly factor with her. She’s got Quizzo going on Thursday nights at 9 pm, a Philly import that started in 1996, that’s about to take over in New York City like it’s done in LA. Quizzo happens on Tuesday nights starting November 18th too. A photography exhibit by Carrie Miller is being installed. Stop in to see her show and meet her at her opening party on Monday, December 1st at 8:30 pm. RENT closed on Broadway on September 7th and our tribute wall to Jonathan Larson will remain. It’s above the Jonathan Larson Bench that we dedicated on September 5th at the incredible RENT Finale B Video contest party before the 50 passionate and wonderful RENThead video contest winners.

Come in for the charming Chas DePaulo on Wednesday, November 12th at 9 pm for some darn good musical entertainment. He’s a member of the famous Irish band The Groundhogs and is an international session musician. For the winter Rebecca’s also working on putting together a writers’ series and improv comedy. If you’re a writer and are interested, get in touch with Rebecca at get in touch with Rebecca at

Don’t forget to stop by and see John’s weekly edition of his popular Riddle Raffle pastel drawing of the week. Guess what it represents (the clue is in one of the menus). Winners receive a bottle of champagne!

Tune in next time. And remember, Life’s worth loving. Enjoy at least one thing in Life everyday and you won’t go astray. Let us know what it was. Stay tuned to find out how.