Opened since January 2008, Arbol Cafe offers a “taste of Paraguay,” as noted on their website. I had heard a lot of good things about it but never had a chance to stop by. I really wanted to enjoy their beautiful outdoor seating area so I waited until the weather got nice on a recent Saturday morning. Just look at this beautiful setting on the corner of 2nd and Poplar.
Just so you know Arbol is pretty much serve yourself. You go in and you get your coffee and order you food and then you take a seat outside and they bring out your meal when it’s ready. If you’re like me and need some time deciding on what to eat, I suggest you pick up your menu inside and a cup of coffee. Then enjoy your coffee and study the menu, there is a lot to think about. I ordered one of their “lomitos sandwiches”, which they claim are good for anytime of the day and they are right. This sandwich made for a hearty breakfast but it could also make a good lunchtime meal. The “cacique lambare” called to me and it might have had something to do with the description, as stated on the menu, “the warrior sandwich of thin steak, broken egg, mushroom, onion and port salut cheese.” Yes I picked a sandwich because it was called a warrior.
Now I titled this post “Arbol is for meat lovers” because you can get sandwiches with multiple kinds of meats and that always excites me. For instance E from Foodaphilia, who was my dining companion, ordered a sandwich with the thin steak and smoked turkeyham. Meat on meat, I love it! I was a little misled by the “broken egg”. I thought I would find a yolky egg that I would break and thus make my sandwich all yolky but instead found an egg that had been fried after the yolk was broken. It was still very good but I would have loved the yolk with my thinly sliced steak. The meat was super juicy and still a little pink but it was just a little tougher than I would have liked but still very tasty. The bread was perfection, I am pretty certain it is a brioche roll for LeBus. The cheese was nicely melted and I loved the onions and mushrooms. Isn’t it a lovely sandwich. Don’t let me mislead you though, they have sandwiches for our veggie loving friends as well as chicken sandwiches for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Along with all of that they serve salads, empanadas and bagel and croissant sandwiches. The coffee is also very good.
Inside the warrior.
I shared an order of their “potatoes a la plancha” (this might be wrong because I can’t currently find the name of it on their website). Bad food blogger for not taking better notes. I wished that the potatoes had a bit more crunch but the spiced ketchup they offered more than made up for it.
Arbol is also reasonably priced. My sandwich was between 7 or 8 dollars and I think the side of potatoes were around $2.50. I was recently craving a hearty meat sandwich, that wasn’t a burger surprise, and my first thought was Arbol so it definitely made an impression on me. It is a nice change of pace from the other eateries in Northern Liberties. Their outdoor space is also a beautiful addition to the neighborhood.Arbol Cafe 209 Poplar St Philadelphia, PA 19123