The Plaza Food Hall – Midtown, Manhattan – August 25, 2016
I met my friend Deanna for a walk in Central Park today. Finding somewhere near the southeast entrance of the park that serves delicious food with affordable options (within the scope of Midtown Manhattan prices) can be challenging. But, that is what I found at The Plaza Food Hall on the Concourse Level of the famous Plaza Hotel.
With 20 options to choose from, it was hard to select what I would eat. Would I eat French food from Tartinery? Sushi from Sabi Sushi? Cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery? Italian from Piada?
After much deliberation, and reading food blogs about what is best at The Plaza Food Hall, I started with a slice of the signature vanilla Lady M Mille Crêpes cake. Everything I read said this cake is not to be missed, and yes, I started lunch with dessert. The cake features,
“…no less than twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with ethereal light pastry cream. Delicate and irresistible, the top gently caramelized till golden.” (http://www.ladym.com/portfolio/lady-m-mille-crepe/,2016)
Decadent does not begin to describe this cake! The slightly chewy layers of crêpes were balanced by the light-as-air, not too sweet pastry cream. I took my time to enjoy the elegant simplicity of the cake, and I savored each bite. I resisted the temptation to get another slice in one of the other flavors they offer. But, I certainly plan to return for more another time!
As I passed Vive la Crêpe!, I could not resist the sweet smell of the freshly made, paper-thin French pancakes. (I realized after the fact that this had inadvertently turned into Crêpe Day, which I thoroughly enjoyed. An unintentional follow up to August 2015’s Brooklyn Pie Day.) I decided to have the smoked salmon crêpe with cream cheese and fresh spinach. The smoky, salty, bright pink salmon mixed with the slightly tart cream cheese and crisp, green spinach worked beautifully with the fresh, slightly sweet crêpe. Plus, since I asked for it to be packed to go, it was a great option for lunch in Central Park instead of the usual hot dogs or other food cart choices offered there.
Accessibility Rating for The Plaza Food Hall
I used my wheelchair to visit The Plaza Food Hall.
- Entryway – 4: I entered the hotel through the doors on West 58th Street. There are two sets of side-by-side, wide doors on either side of a revolving door. The transition from the sidewalk to the interior is smooth. The only problem is that the doors are heavy. Fortunately, people stopped to help me open them upon entering and exiting. Once inside, I took the elevator down one flight to the Concourse Level.
- Bathroom (Men’s) – 3: The brightly lit accessible stall has two grab bars around the toilet. The lock on the door to this stall was broken when I was there. I was able to make a 180° turn within the stall and the bathroom. There is a sink in the spacious stall. It was difficult to fit underneath the sink because it is mounted lower on the wall, and this was made more difficult because it is falling out of the wall. It is a large sink with a standard height faucet and standard length handles.
- Walkways/Space – 4: The food hall itself has aisles that are easy for users of any mobility assistive devices to pass through when they are not crowded. There are various dining areas, though those nearest the vendors all have high tables with high stools. The area with standard height, central pedestal, small tables is near the elevators and escalators just off the main vendor area. I was able to fit comfortably underneath the table with my footrests raised up. The food hall has light background music in some areas, but the majority of the noise came from talking people. It was not very loud while I was there. The majority of the space is moderately lit with some bright lighting in some areas.
Video Description: Interior of The Plaza Food Hall Midtown Manhattan August 25, 2016 – Video has two segments showing my point of view as I roll around the food hall in my wheelchair. In the moderately lit hall, I pass various food counters and people ordering food at the counters. Some people are dining at tall tables while seated on stools.
- Staff – 2: The only help I was offered came from the employee who helped me at Lady M. She recognized my need for something easy to carry, and offered me a choice of a box or a plate in which to carry my slice of cake. I chose a box. Beyond that, none of the staff offered me any help as it relates to my mobility needs.
- Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.