A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 02, 2017
“Café au lait? I thought it was café olé! Like ‘coffee, alright!‘“

"Café au lait”—the French term for coffee with milk—is sometimes thought to be the Spanish “café olé.” “In Mexico they have cafe au lait down there too, but it’s spelled CAFE OLE” was cited in a 1973 newspaper.

The jocular confusing was popularized on the American comedy-drama television series Gilmore Girls, on the episode “Go, Bulldogs!” that aired on November 7, 2006, when the character Lorelai Gilmore said:

“Really? I thought it (café au lait—ed.) was cafe ole! Like ‘coffee, alright!’”


Wikipedia: Café au lait
Café au lait (pronounced: [kafe o lɛ]; French for “coffee with milk") is coffee with hot milk added. It differs from white coffee, which is coffee with cold milk or other whitener added.

Wikipedia: Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls is an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. Sherman-Palladino, her husband Daniel Palladino, David S. Rosenthal, and Gavin Polone served as the executive producers. The series debuted on October 5, 2000, on The WB and remained a tent-pole to the network until its move to The CW on September 26, 2006. The series originally ran for seven seasons and ended its run on May 15, 2007.

The show follows single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Graham) and her daughter Rory (Bledel), living in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
(...)
137 6 "Go, Bulldogs!" Wil Shriner David S. Rosenthal, Rebecca Rand Kirshner November 7, 2006

10 August 1973, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Remoulade” by Howard Jacobs, sec. 1, pg. 15, col. 2:
And Rachel Daniel was told by a friend traveling in Mexico they have cafe au lait down there too, but it’s spelled CAFE OLE.

Google Groups: rec.food.drink.coffee
Coffee in the U.S. of Fuckin’ A.
Colin Bigam
8/3/94
(John C. Di Pol) writes:
(coffee stuff deleted!)

... Cafe con latte ain’t close to cappucino
>anywhere but the good old USA.  (remember the old days when everyone who was
>cool asked for cafe au lait--those poor French, displaced by Italian. ...

My personal opinion is that the term “Cafe latte” took over from “Cafe au lait” because most people’s version of a french accent ended up sounding like “Cafe ole’” which is quite funny.

New York (NY) Times
Metropolitan Diary
By ENID NEMY JAN. 3, 2000
(...)
Dear Diary:
On my way to work recently I stopped, as I often do, at a Starbuck’s for a quick breakfast. As I placed my order, I noticed that the menu chalkboard included a mysterious concoction—cafe ole. I became curious as to what this cafe ole could be. Perhaps, I thought, it was some sort of California rendering of my beloved cafe au lait with a splash of Tabasco and a slice of avocado, or something else just as bizarre and unnecessary.

On further examination, the menu revealed that cafe ole consisted of one part steamed milk and one part coffee—just like cafe au lait! I thought cafe ole must be an error and told the cashier. He studied the menu and eventually looked up at me. ‘’There is no problem, is spelled right,’’ he said. I spelled out cafe au lait on a napkin and he told me that was something different. I then explained that cafe au lait simply means coffee and milk in French. He insisted that ole was a correct spelling—he lived in Mexico for 20 years, he said, and spoke Spanish ‘’pretty good.’’ A man behind me chimed in and agreed with him.

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
Gilmore Girls (TV Series)
Go, Bulldogs! (2006)
Quotes

Christopher Hayden: Thought our stomachs should start adjusting to French cuisine so I got us croisants and cafe au lait
Lorelai Gilmore: I thought cafe au lait was Spanish
Christopher Hayden: No it’s French for coffee and milk, leit is milk
Lorelai Gilmore: Really? I thought it was cafe ole! Like ‘coffee, alright!’

YouTube
Gilmore Girls - Café Au Lait
joanissima3
Uploaded on Jul 25, 2010
Lolerai learns to speak French…

Twitter
Tami B‏
@icttamiham
Replying to @digital_rebie
Lorelai thinks Cafe Au Lait translates from Spanish: “Cafe Ole” like “Coffee...all right!!” Season7 Episode6 #GilmoreGirls ☕😄
11:59 PM - 20 Aug 2016

Twitter
Diana Shepherd‏
@djoyshep
Ep 137-Go Bulldogs!
“I thought it was “Café olé” like “Coffee! All right!"” #153DaysofGilmore #GilmoreGirls #aulait #ole #cafe #allright
10:11 AM - 5 Nov 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, April 02, 2017 • Permalink