Written by Hulda Lawrence
with M.J. Boyer

Past Reviews

Norma'sFrom 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Norma's in Le Parker Meridien Hotel provides breakfast and breakfast only to hungry diners. Located on busy 57th Street at 118 West, 212-708-7460, it is brightly lit with a subdued art deco look. Many of the choices are fine for lunch and all portions are generous.

As soon as one is seated, a fruit smoothie shot is brought; ours was a mix of strawberry, pineapple and peach. Then, one may peruse the vast menu. The only problem is deciding what delicious dish is to be ordered. We felt we should try several and so we began with Foie Gras Brioche French Toast with Asparagus and Wild Mushrooms. The foie gras was excellent and we moved on to our next sampling of Flat-As-A-Pancake Crabcake spiced with Habanero Peppers and served with Dill Yogurt Mustard Sauce at $19. Our next was Chunks of Lobster Swimming in Cheesy Macaroni at $21. Our final choices were Crispy Belgian Waffle at $15 and a Mango-Papaya Crepe at $11. Each dish was unique and had it own charm. The cappuccino was great and I opted for two cups!

The menu is divided into sections. The "Mom Can't Make This" list includes Waz-Za?, a waffle with fruit inside, fruit outside and a crispy brulee top; Country-Style Buttermilk Pancakes; Irresistible Banana-Macadamia Nut Flap Jacks; Light and Lemony Griddle Cakes; Cranberry Pancakes; Crunchy French Toast; Very Berry Brioche French Toast; Super Cheesy French Toast; Carmelized Chocolate Banana Waffle Napoleon; Chocolate Decadence French Toast and Stuffed Apple Katafi French Toast. These are $14 to $24, for the Foie Gras.

Next comes "Somethin' Fruity," including McCann's™ Irish Oatmeal Brulée; Red Berry Risotto "Oatmeal" in a crisp wafer bowl; Swiss Bircher Muesli; Pecan and Macadamia Granola. The "Eggs-Cellent" list includes Egg White Frittata; Egg White Omelette; Seared Rock Lobster and Asparagus Omelette; Huevos Rancheros con Chorizo; three kinds of Eggs Benedict and Mushroom Omelette. These range from $14 for Eggs Florentine to $23 for Cast Iron Seared New York Steak.

Crpes are $13 to $16 for Warm Black Forest Ham and Brie Crepe Roulades.

Lox & Lox of Bagel topped with caper berries at $17, and Oven-Stuffed Croissant of Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs are popular at $18. Hudson Valley Duck Confit Hash aáCheval at $21; Potato Pancakes at $15; Carmelized Cipollini Onion Corned Beef Hash-Cake at $18; and "Full Monty Cristo," grilled brioche with turkey, Swiss cheese and honey-cured ham with mango-chutney at $16 are other choices.

There are many more selections, but you get the idea. It is an elaborate "breakfast" menu that easily can be used for lunch.

Hours: Monday thru Friday 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Credit Cards: All major
Dress code: Very, very casual
Wheelchair Accessibility: From lobby floor there are several steps to the restaurant
Price: $$

Just around the corner on the main floor lobby at Le Parker Meridien is a burger joint with no name! You must look to discover the art deco hamburger sign that points in the direction of its locale. Then you follow the people into a relatively small place where there is an open stand and a cheerful person awaiting your order. Give your order, pay cash only and await your burger and fries. The menu is strictly limited and as the sign says "if you don't see it, we don't have it!" Burgers are $4.50, and 50 cents more for a cheeseburger. Fries are $1.50 and come crisp in a brown paper bag; the burgers are wrapped in plain paper and you can have all the fixin's including lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced pickles, mustard, ketchup and mayo. Drinks are soda at $1.50, coffee or tea at $1, hot chocolate at $2, and a frat-boy cup of Sam Adams beer on tap is $2.50. After 3 p.m. you can have a milk shake at $2.50. For dessert there is a very good brownie for $1.50. The burgers are freshly made to order, hot and excellent. The problem is getting in, giving your order and then either taking your food away or jamming into the minimal seating capacities. Taxes are all included in the prices.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight
No credit cards: CASH ONLY!
Dress: Anything you want to wear
Price: $

The Restaurant Revue Ratings

The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.

$ Inexpensive $25
$$ Moderate $50
$$$ Expensive $100
$$$$ Very Expensive $150

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