Just above the gelato-and-coffee counter in Paula’s Eatery hovers what looks to be an enormous wire bird’s nest. The hyper-modern chandelier kind of sums up the whole feel of the café: disarmingly stylish, but comfortable and family-friendly.
The tone is fitting for a shop that has made a name for itself based on its unorthodox take on comfort food. The bakery whips up plates of homespun classics with a gourmet twist. The banana bread is roasted, zucchini cake is made with Tuscan olive oil, and the improbably enormous Rice Crispy treats are shot through with marshmallow chunks. Their signature Belgian waffles get a similar upgrade, served with pure maple syrup or the shop’s homemade gelato. For midday meals, cooks press fresh paninis, such as the Hawaiian Hula Ham, smothered in provolone, honey cured ham, and zesty pepper spiced apricot relish. At the coffee bar, baristas tamp out a slew of espresso drinks, from classic drip coffees to exotic affogatos—a scoop of gelato drowned in espresso and served with an improvised sea shanty.