Omnivore - Lunch at Cafe Lapin with furry rodents and ladies who lunch

Peachtree Battle favorite packs them in


My Friday lunch friends and I visited Cafe Lapin in Peachtree Battle Shopping Center last Friday. Nothing much has changed since my lunch there almost five years ago.

That's especially true of the clientele - almost exclusively "ladies who lunch." Indeed, with one exception, we were the only men present in the full dining room. (The restaurant is also open for dinner.)

We all ordered the same thing from the specials menu - a meatloaf sandwich on a baguette with lettuce, tomato, and American cheese. I'm usually scared of meatloaf. When I was a kid, they were always greasy as hell, topped with ketchup, and made me really sick within 10 minutes of the first bite. Cafe Lapin's, traditionally wrapped in bacon, was not the least bit greasy and the two thick slabs on my sandwich had great flavor. I chose a caprese salad for my side. Not bad, especially for out-of-season tomatoes.

? ? ?

The walls of the restaurant are devoted to big paintings of anthropomorphized rodents. I asked our server what kind of beasts populated the painting on the wall next to us. My friends had guessed mice, but I thought they were hamsters. The server said, "I'm not sure, but I think maybe they are hamsters." I won! Or probably so.

Peachtree Battle continues to turn into a mall full of restaurants. I still miss Abruzzi and Danny Arturo's pizzeria. Jalisco, which opened at least 30 years ago, remains there. Once upon a time, it was the closest to Mexican food you could find in our city.