It’s one of the most talked about restaurants in Philly right now. It’s got this must go, eat, take photos and be seen vibes. And I fell for it and I’m glad…kind of.
Louie Louie was started by Marty and Sydney Grims, the father-daughter team behind White Dog Cafe. It’s a European-style bistro, with cafe fare that is a interior-design heaven. Designed by Philadelphia firm Rohe Creative; the art nouveau inspired design that reminds me of a Wes Anderson film or a trip back to the Mad Men era. It’s delightful and warm in it’s mis-match kitschy feel.
The menu is French-American inspired. I went for brunch and you’ll find the typical European fare of benedicts, croque madame and monsieur, but you’ll also find those cozy traditional American breakfast staples and regional fare (like scrapple). The menu is a little all over the place, but I appreciated having options, but at the same time, it would be great if there were more authentic french restaurants on the Philly food scene and less of the same thing over and over. Though, I digress…
3611 Walnut Street
What I Ate:
Warm Monkey Bread — baked brown sugar milk bread
Croissant Breakfast Sandwich — buttery eggs, cooper sharp american, scrapple, truffle pomme frites
Blackberry Cold Brew — cold brew coffee, blackberries, agave, root beer
The warm monkey bread is Hungarian in origin and has been heavily adopted into American cuisine. I always want to order cinnamon rolls and talk myself out of them, but the order of monkey bread was small enough and not quite as heavy that I didn’t feel guilty eating it. Soft, sweet, warm and the perfect brunch addition.
The blackberry cold brew was an impulse. I ordered straight coffee and saw it on the menu and intercepted my waiter to ask his opinion. Well, he didn’t sell it and hadn’t tried it, but I went with it anyway and I’m glad I did. I would never order a mocktail ever, but it was the perfect addition to feel like I elevated my brunch without drinking since I was headed to a cocktail reception later that day.
The croissant breakfast sandwich is also not a typical order for me, but man, it was delicious. The buttery eggs melted in your mouth in combination with cooper sharp cheese (which is a personal favorite) it was perfection. Scrapple is also a new thing for me even though I’m from PA! It was decadent and would definitely order again. I could take or leave the pomme frites (which were just baby potatoes). I would have preferred actually pomme frites (i.e. french fries).
While I liked the food that I ordered, the service left something to be desired. When I arrived and asked for a table for one, they immediately directed me to the bar. Nah, sometimes that’s fine, but not when I want to experience the whole restaurant. They told me it would be a wait, so I went to hang out in the lounge (super cute!). Well, when I was finally seated, I kid you not, there were 15-20 open tables.
Then the service was slow and disjointed. The manager was going around and having to fill in gaps. All that aside because I wasn’t in a rush and excited to try the space, the noise level was INSANE. I mean, to the point where I got a headache and had to put in headphones. There was a big party, but even so it’s just a loud space where the noise bounces off the wall.
Overall, I enjoyed what I ordered and I liked the atmosphere, but was it a stellar visit? Not quite. Would I go back to Louie Louie? Yes, but during an off-peak time.