Hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner every night, 6 to 11.
Price Range: $3 to $15 for entrees.
Credit Cards: Visa, American Express, Mastercard.
Reservations: Not available downstairs or at lunchtime.
Special Facilities: Parking lot with limousine shuttle service available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; booster seats; entrance has several steps.
From the hand-carved wooden front door to the grand staircase and stained-glass dome above the gracious upper dining room, Flaps Up is decked with the trappings of a mansion.
The upper-class atmosphere applies also to the upstairs menu: $14 for rack of lamb; $11 for veal dishes. Upstairs at Flaps Up is where you linger over a cocktail at a handcarved wooden bar and dine at a table set with crystal. You don't bring the kiddies.
The main floor is another story. To one side of a spacious, wood-railed center hall is a cozy and casual wood-paneled area where you can sit at a table covered with a lively green cloth, relax and order from the menu on the blackboard. We tested the main floor twice: once with our children, once without.
Our children were delighted with the opening gambit in their excursion. Flaps Up is located on a narrow commerical street and, to ease a parking problem, the doorman tells you to follow the black limousine which leads to a parking lot and brings you back in a plush black cadillac complete with jump seats.
That excursion was on a slow summer Saturday at 6 p.m. when Flaps Up was empty. The blackboard offered onion sooup, $2.25; clam chowder, $1.95; hamburger, $4,50; steak sandwhich, $6.50; vegetable tempura, $3; spinach salad, $3.75; tossed salad, $1.95; mushrooms and onions, $1.50. Our waitress brought us the upstairs menu because you can order from upstairs while downstairs.
With appetites of some family members flagging, we preferred the blackboard.
My husband (hungry) indulged in a steak sandwich; my daughter (also hungry), a hamburger. My son (too many potato chips at home) was happy with soup and a salad. I wasn't ravenous and chose the vegetable tempura.
The steak sandwich was a decent and generous cut of meat, cooked to just the right degree of medium rareness. It came covered with beautifully brown french fries and accompanied by lettuce and tomato. The hamburger was also nicely cooked and served with cheese, bacon, french fries, lettuce and tomato and a hard roll.
My son likes onion soup with plenty of cheese on top, bread and onions inside. He pronounced Flaps Up's version to his liking, even though it needed salt. His salad was nicely crisp with a perky house dressing.
My vegetable tempura was an ideal dish for a light dinner: The vegetables had been dipped in a light batter and deep fried. They were crisp, not greasy and there was enough broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper and zucchini to give everyone a taste.
For dessert, we shared a super-rich and somewhat sophisticated double chocolate cake, $2, and an interesting apple walnut pie, $2. Our children would have preferred ice cream, $1.50 for Haagen Dazs.
On our second visit, sans children, my husband and I arrived at 8:30 on a Thursday night and the joint was jumping, Benny Goodman swing songs in the background. Even so, we were seated quickly and our waitress, though pressed, gave us dutiful attention. This time we tried something from upstairs: A half order of straw and hay (noodles with pepperoni, ham, peas and cheese sauce), $4.50, and a spinach salad and enjoyed them both, especially the straw and hay which was creamy and delightfully spicy.
The food on both occasions was not extraordinary, but it was served with care.The bill for four (soft drinks, glass of wine, a beer, the food, tax and tip) came to $28.05. There was no extra charge for the limousine ride or for the lavish and very attractive mansion decor.