By Madeline Park
Amidst the swarms of restaurants that have aspired to become more inventive with their menus, Mimi’s Cafe has taken it a step further by going back to their roots. Established in 1978, Mimi’s Cafe has long been known for their American comfort food with a slight French touch. It is here, with their charming brick walls and blue shutters, that they have managed to provide a steadfast and familiar environment amongst the changing restaurant scene. Surprisingly, this sense of familiarity is even seen in the recent changes to their menu.
On Sept. 5, Mimi’s Cafe launched their new menu, with the addition of 20 new dishes. Ranging from all-day breakfast items like the Florentine Benedict to the classic Grilled New York Steak Strip, several pages have been added to their menus. Yet, despite its appearances, nearly all of the 20 new dishes have been seen in Mimi’s Cafe before, and are in fact, old classics.
“When the new company, Le Duff America, took us over, they have listened to our guests and have listened to the feedback we’ve gotten. And, a lot of people said they wanted to go back to the old menu. So this is a new menu, but it has some older items on it that we used to have before. … It’s going really good,” explained Brandon Bryan, the general manager at Mimi’s Cafe Monrovia.
So what exactly is on this new menu? Many fan-favorites have returned, such as the Trio of Appetizers (chicken tenders with fried zucchini and spinach artichoke dip), the Hibachi Plate (a honey and teriyaki Asian dish served with salmon, chicken or shrimp) and the Turkey Pesto Ciabatta. Alongside these are also the Tuscan Style Grilled Chicken — which sits upon a steaming bed of mashed potatoes with juicy roasted vegetables lining the sides — and Monrovia waitress Jasmine’s favorite, the Thai Chicken Wrap — served with a spicy peanut sauce and enveloped in a vibrant, red sun-dried tomato wrap.
In addition to their regular menu, Mimi’s Cafe also has their seasonal menu, meant to reflect the pumpkin-spice craze that has taken over fall. Just a few items are their pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice pancakes and their ever-famous pumpkin spice muffins with a gooey cream cheese center.
“Everybody likes [the new additions] a lot!” Remarked Bryan, “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback … [Some of the older staff] even said that when we had this menu back in the day, they had a line out the door at all parts of the day. Morning, lunch and dinner, it was just busy all day. We opened up every room.”
From the moment one enters Mimi’s Cafe, the feeling of family is present. Seen in the warm welcome the servers give, the cozy decor and especially in the large plates of American comfort food, it is the warmth and home-like feeling that keeps customers coming back. Mimi’s Cafe is like stepping into the home of an old friend, one that will leave you feeling not only warm in your stomach, but in your heart as well.
1 – The Hibachi Plate is a crowd-favorite, with its Asian-inspired teriyaki and honey glaze over your choice of protein and a bed of rice and vegetables. – Courtesy photo
2 – The Chipotle Burrito is a Mexican-inspired breakfast burrito that is only one of the all-day breakfast items provided by Mimi’s Café. – Courtesy photo
3 – The Trio of Appetizers is a triple threat, with its hand-breaded chicken tenders, lightly fried zucchini and warm spinach artichoke dip. – Courtesy photo
4 – Mimi’s Café is now offering a Mimi’s Mix & Match Quartet, which gives guests the choice of four different dishes – including dessert – for a lower price. – Courtesy photo