Oi Polloi

Eatery of the Month: La Bonbonniere

Published: Wed Mar 09 2016

For this month's eatery we're taking a trip across the Atlantic with guest-eater and Oi Polloi boss Nigel Lawson. Photos courtesy of Josh Rothery.

Until I found La Bonbonniere, I was pretty down on New York. Over the last 20 years I’d been to New York a few times, and I’d always thought it was rubbish, but then I found this place and I was like, “Okay, New York’s alright.”

When I’d lived in Arizona and travelled around the states, I’d get up in the morning and have breakfast at a truck-stop. I’ve always liked the English breakfast, so it was a very homely thing to sit down and have a big breakfast. Admittedly they’d have ZZ Top on and they’d be guys with T-bar moustaches and trucker caps sat there, but the breakfast was so similar to our breakfast that it made me feel at home.

But when I got to New York, I couldn’t find that breakfast—there was no friendliness and none of that home cooked feeling. So when I found this place and saw the menu, it made me feel at home in New York.

It’s weird because with a name like that, it sounds like a French fine dining place, but it’s not—it’s three Mexican guys making hash browns, bacon and chocolate pancakes. It’s just a very old, traditional bit of America that’s been there for years. It’s exactly what you think America is going to be like. You can tell the interior hasn’t changed since the 50s—you know, plastic chairs and Formica-topped tables.

Two eggs, sunny side up, Canadian ham, home fries with white toast and butter. It’s very, very unhealthy, but you don’t need to eat again until tea-time.

If you’re in New York, you should go. It’s that basic, cheap, great food.