Brunch Makes Sunday Even Better!
Are you ready for a bloody good brunch?
I want my Baby Back Benedict!
A Good...not GREAT Brunch in the West Village!
Fried Chicken that is Finger-Licking Good!
An unlimited brunch without a time limit..sounds dangerous!
Boozy Thai Brunch
Melissa has grown to be a very close friend of mine over the past year. She recently celebrated her 25th birthday and invited some of us to the $25 bottomless brunch at Kittichai (http://www.kittichairestaurant.com/). She keeps me young - turning 30 in August. EEK.
I have heard rave reviews about it, so I was eager try it out. Thai is one of my favorite cuisines, so combining it with unlimited cocktails is always a good time! I started with the Bloody Mary. It had a weird taste to it, so I ate the olive to cleanse my palate and moved ON.
Melissa invited both friends from Stern and beyond - I always love the opportunity to meet new people. Her other friends are really great, especially Dayna.
In the picture above, Melissa has the Lychee Bellini in the cocktail glass. It was lovely - just the perfect amount of sweetness. I really enjoyed this one!
I also tried the Blood Orange Mimosa. It was ok. Based on the color, I doubt it was anything more than regular OJ.
The beautiful birthday girl - Melissa! Love her so much!
After looking at the different brunch options, I decided to go the savory route. The Shrimp Pad Thai was delicious. Melissa commented that the portions used to be much larger. It was quite tasty, so I would have been happy to have eaten more.
We HAD to have a Stern photo shoot!
This is a super hip spot but beware, since it is bottomless, some younger "just turned 21" folks come there that get super wasted and loud (at least that was our experience).
A Bon Voyage Brunch
Prior to taking our night flight to Dublin about two weeks ago, my mom and I went to brunch with my brother. I always love trying a new spot and I read many positive reviews about Good Restaurant (http://www.goodrestaurantnyc.com/) in the West Village.
The location takes reservations and also reserves a lot of seating for walk-ins. I loved the interior décor.
The restaurant offers an awesome deal: The Get-It-All Special for $27. This features a choice of egg dish, pancake or French Toast AND any house-made bread or side dish AND choice of any House cocktail, Champagne or Sparkling Rose. Naturally, I chose this offer. My mom wasn't as hungry and she just got an entrée but enjoyed some of my donuts. We also each got a cup of coffee - it was hot and continuously refilled - great!
Let's focus on the important stuff first: cocktails! I chose The goodMorning! Martini made with vodka, Kahlua and a shot of chilled espresso.
Instead of choosing a side dish, I went with a house-made bread, the Warm Sugar & Spice Donuts! YUMMY! I loved that they include the donut holes too.
For my entrée, I got the Hampshire Pork Belly Hash with Eggs sunny side up. The hash also has Yukon potatoes, red onion and chives. I read rave reviews on Yelp! (thanks Yelpers!) and knew I had to get it. I was not led astray - delicious!
My mom also ordered it and loved it! My brother got the Mushroom, Spinach & Aged Cheddar Omelet with a side of bacon. I believe he may have added bacon to the Omelet as well. When I can't remember, I just assume he added it - he is a smart man.
This is a lovely restaurant with great brunch options - solid choices from both the sweet and savory side. Give it a shot!
An Accurately Named Restaurant
Aish and I wanted to catch up over brunch. I love trying new restaurants and I put a lot of thought into selecting this location because Aish is a vegetarian. I bring this up because many restaurants do not offer good options for vegetarians for brunch that are exciting. When I looked at the reviews and saw the menu, I knew Feast (http://eatfeastnyc.com/) would have more than enough choices for her (and me!).
As an interesting side note, Google Glass users allegedly panned the restaurant after one user was asked to remove her glasses. Heaven forbid! The story is a bit egregious (Glass wearers referred to the restaurant as "bigoted"), so check it out: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/05/feast_viciously_panned_by_enraged_google_glass_users.php
Feast offers an awesome brunch special: $26 includes one cocktail (mimosa, bellini, or "beery mary") or non-alcoholic beverage (fresh squeezed OJ or bottomless coffee), a bakery basket & yogurt parfait & daily juice shot & other item (was a deviled egg) for the table and one entrée per person! WHAT A DEAL!
I am so glad I chose the Beery Mary. I would describe it as Bloody Mary mix with beer poured on top of it. It was absolutely refreshing and tasty! I've had Micheladas before and this was much better.
I didn't bring the right lens for my camera (still learning!) so I had to take several shots of the shared plates to capture everything we got! My preference was the baked goods, deviled eggs, juice (carrot and orange) and yogurt parfait.
Aish ordered the croque-madame. Since she is a vegetarian, she didn't get the prosciutto on it, which I would argue is the best party.
I ordered the Baby Back Benedict - served with grits, greens and BBQ hollandaise. It sounds like an odd combination, but it was one of the BEST benedicts I've ever had! The ribs were succulent, flavorful and uber tender. DELICIOUS!
This is a lovely restaurant with tasty good, great ambiance and very affordable pricing. You simply must check it out!
Unlimited Bloody Marys = Great Idea
Michelle is a great friend, and in many ways, an unofficial leader of Block 3. During my time at Stern, she has made efforts to organize many large events. I realize that organizing the conflicting schedules of students, working professionals and new-parents is no easy task! When she organized brunch last week, I was delighted to attend!
The Brazen Fox (http://brazenfoxnyc.com/) offers a complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary with each brunch entrée. Instead of just one, we went with the Unlimited Bloody Mary (and could switch to Mimosas) option. The restaurant needs to work on its site advertising, because I couldn't find details on this to report back on the pricing (we split a large check up). Anyway, it was like $15-$20. Given the amount of time we were there, I felt we all got our money's worth.
I thought the Bloody Mary had a good flavor to it - a bit spicy and bold without being overwhelming. Since the drink is fairly salty, I switched out with a Mimosa. This was the right move.
For my entrée, I wanted to get something savory. This is something I struggle with (sweet or savory?) but after the Bloody Marys, my destination was set. The Brazen Burger was calling my name. It has cheddar cheese, house-made aioli, tomato and lettuce. I ordered it medium and it came out at that temp.
While I enjoyed the burger, I found it very greasy. I don't think it was from the cheese and aioli, but rather from the meat used itself. A delicious burger tends to be a higher % fat (maybe 20 % fat vs. 10% you may purchase) - this is what makes it taste so good! I found it a bit excessive though.
Matt ordered Bacon Bowl (yes this is a food item). You get home fries, eggs any style topped with melted Cheddar Cheese in a crispy bacon bowl.
Matt had positive things to say about the order. What is not to like about a bowl of bacon?
Overall, this is a great spot for the unlimited deal. I would probably order something different next time, maybe the Pork Belly Grits or Smoked Duck Hash.
If you watch Million Dollar Listing New York, you will share my excitement for seeing a Ryan Serhant listing! I was walking to my brother's apartment and saw his name. He is such a stud and also has a memorable personality: http://www.bravotv.com/people/ryan-serhant/bio
Catching Up with Some Favorite People
I love brunch so much! I love it EVEN MORE when I can share this awesome meal with people I love. I met both Erin and her boyfriend, JBJ, during my trip to Santiago, Chile during spring break. Since I've returned from the trip, I've had the opportunity to get to know them better and it has been lovely.
I suggested going to brunch and Erin picked a great spot: Commerce (http://www.commercerestaurant.com/). I heard good things about this West Village spot but had yet to check it out, so, naturally, I was excited.
On my walk, I loved seeing all of the blooming flowers. It has gotten chilly again recently, but hopefully it was warm up soon!
I'm glad we had a reservation! The place was PACKED with eager brunch go-ers in their Easter best! I spotted a couple people in seersucker (oh my). I read on Yelp! that the pecan cinnamon rolls were a must order item! We ordered it and split it as an appetizer.
This was by far the highlight of the meal. Everything was good, but what can compare with this ooey gooey scrumptiousness? Nothing! I would like to note that like most places that take advantage of holidays, this venue bumped up all their prices by $5-$10 because it was Easter. Sort of annoying, but I get it. People are working on holidays so ya gotta pay $$$
I ordered a Bloody Mary, because, it was brunch and that is what you do at brunch.
Our server "warned" me that their Bloody Mary is "very different" and I was a bit hesitant, but I ordered it anyway. It was good though it had a strong horseradish presence. Also, one of the garnishes was chorizo. Although it was very tasty, I am still on the fence about meat products served in beverages. I love bacon but still not 100% convinced I need it in my cocktail as well.
For my entree, I ordered the short rib ravioli with hen of the woods mushrooms and Barolo. This was delicious!
Although this pasta dish was nearly $30 (Easter pricing hike from $22), I felt it was the best value dish from what we ordered. It was a large serving - sometimes you order ravioli and get four. Also, the flavor of the beef was delicious!
Erin ordered the Shakshuka, a baked eggs dish, and JBJ got the Croque Madame.
I sampled each of their dishes - I preferred the Croque Madame though the Brussels Sprouts on the side of the Shakshuka were quite nice.
Overall, this is a fantastic spot and I would like to go back for a different meal! I will also attempt to go on a non-holiday to take advantage of normal (already high) prices!
Brunch in Prospect Heights
After our visit to the Brooklyn Museum, we (Miranda, Miranda's two friends and Jenn) were hungry for brunch! The researcher that I am, I had already chosen a place to go within walking distance (10-15 minutes) of the museum. I read positive review after positive review of Elberta Restaurant & Bar (http://www.elbertarestaurant.com/). I know I've found a great spot when there are multiple things I would be happy to order!
When we got seated at our table, our server shared with us many of the drink specials. We all started with the Bloody Mary ($6!). The drink was fantastic and such a great value. It had a kick to it and the veggies were yummy - olives and cornichon pickles. There were also other options such as a 1-hour unlimited mimosa ($10 or $12) and several other options at great price points.
While we waited for our food, we ordered biscuits for the table. Each order has two biscuits and is only $2, again great value. We had 5 in our group so we placed 3 orders. The biscuits were served hot and with butter, fresh fruit jam and honey. DELICIOUS!
For my entrée, I ordered the Shrimp & Grits, served with bacon, onion and cheesy grits. It was exactly what I felt like! Given I already had a Bloody Mary and Biscuits, I stuck with the savory breakfast theme. The dish had four large shrimp and huge slices of thick bacon. I devoured it!
My friends ordered the Southern Fried Chicken & Waffles with bourbon maple syrup and the Three Ranchers Eggs with cheddar cheese, capers, Andouille sausage and country toast. They all loved what they got!
I look forward to going back, if I'm ever in Prospect Heights!
A Yummy West Village Brunch Spot
Last week I went to Yerba Buena with Aish, a new friend of mine from school that went with me on an East Village Bar Crawl. This weekend, I returned for a first date! He chose this spot without knowing it is one of my favorites for brunch. I knew this was a good sign! Yerba Buena Perry (http://www.ybnyc.com/media/yerbabuena.html) has a sister location in the East Village. You should know that the East Village location has a very limited cocktail menu for the unlimited hour (4 choices) whereas the Perry location has 7 CHOICES! Is there even a question? Also, I've tried most of the cocktails (they are all delicious and not diluted garbage) and for $15 for an hour it is a great value!
I got the same things each time I went to Yerba Buena. I LOVE what I got last time and was craving it! I started with the Anti-Hangover Mary, made with Svedka Vodka, Tomato Juice, Tapatio Sauce and Lemon Juice.
The Bloody Mary was great. If I have too many of them though, I get so dehydrated. So I started to think about what I wanted to get next! Our Trio of Fries came. It is fried slices of avocado, watermelon and hearts of palm. It is an incredibly unique appetizer. I got it the first time I came here and have ordered it every time since!
The sauce of the left is a Spicy Mayo with Latin American influence. It complemented each of the fries. The ketchup-like sauce was not my favorite.
Next, I ordered the Pisco Guajava, made with Pisco Porton, Guava and Lemon Juice. SO refreshing!
For my entrée, I ordered the Cachapa Benedict, made with sweet corn cakes, asadero cheese, poached eggs, Serrano ham and Yerba Buena-aji Amarillo hollandaise. DELICIOUS.
I ordered the benedict both times and it was excellent twice! The second time I ordered it was served on a bed of crispy shoestring potatoes. Otherwise, exactly the same. Consistency can be good!
As my final cocktail choice, I got the Brazilian Bellini, made with Leblon Cachaca, Passion Fruit and Sparkling Wine. The passion fruit is bright and fresh - great!
On my visit today, I tried the Cava Sangria, made with Grand Marnier, Lepanto Brandy, Blackberry Brandy, Peach Liqueur and Fresh Fruit. I didn't snap a picture - sorry! It was refreshing and (way too) easy to drink. I highly recommend it!
Unlike many unlimited brunch spots, the food is as good as the cocktails here. Check it out!
Bosie Tea Parlor for Brunch
Instead of enjoying to an unlimited brunch, Courtney and I decided to class it up with Afternoon Tea at Bosie Tea Parlor (http://bosienyc.com/).
I wanted to order the Dorian Gray Tea, which of course they were out of! The waitress suggested Earl Grey Crème Tea. It was OK. I sort of felt like a novice because I lacked the ability to detect the tasting notes listed in the tea menu. It felt like when you have wine and cannot pick up the tobacco smoke essence. What gives?
We ordered the Bosie Tea Service for Two ($55). You get a two-cup pot of tea (per person) from $5.95 / $6.95 teas (not the premium-priced teas, that is a supplement). I misread this as two-pots of tea. HUGE mistake. I drank the tea too quickly - before my food even came! Other tea services I have been to have unlimited tea which is much more realistic. The service also included two mini scones with clotted cream and jam (DELICIOUS), choice of two macaroons (I chose passion fruit and milk chocolate and salted caramel - YUM), and three portions of tea sandwiches. We picked the egg salad, cucumber and curried chicken breast. The chicken was the best, followed by the egg salad and the cucumber.
Everything was brought out at once. This took A LONG TIME! It would have been better if items were brought as ready so you could pace yourself. We got so hungry by the time the tower arrive that we stuffed our faces. It was embarrassing. The spot seemed a bit understaffed at such a busy time so water refills (since I chugged my tea) were few and far behind. I'd recommend going during a slower time and not weekend brunch.
The check is presented in a classic NYC book! What a nice touch. Check this spot out!
A Mexican Brunch Immediately Following a Mexican Dinner
One of my closest friends, Courtney, came down from Boston to visit me for the holiday weekend. Since I have been on break from school for about 6 weeks, each day sort of blends into the next, so the holiday weekend didn't seem that different than any other day this break. It was a pleasure to catch up with my friend though!
I looked into some new spots for unlimited brunch. I heard about Crema (http://www.cremarestaurante.com/) and wanted to check it out. The deal is for a $21.95 Unlimited Mimosa Brunch. The price includes an entrée from a list with many good choices, coffee or tea and unlimited mimosas. The mimosas were constantly refreshed, which was nice! I hate when you go to an unlimited spot and you have to hunt down the server for refills. The quality was what you'd expect for the unlimited factor - likely made with a cheaper sparkling wine and some sort of OJ. It got the job done though! The coffee was also nice. While we waited for our entrees, of course we ordered the guacamole.
Honestly, for $12 I thought it would be bigger. There is clearly a "That's What She Said" joke tucked in there. The chips weren't that great either. I love when they are hot and salted - these were cold and just seemed out of a bag. Not impressed.
For my entrée, I chose the Burrito de Mole Poblano, made with shredded chicken, Chihuahua cheese, beans, chipotle potatoes, corn and mole sauce. It was presented in an interesting way.
I don't know about you, but I've NEVER seen a burrito presented this way. It still tasted delicious, I just thought due to the presentation it may have raw fish in it or be for a small child.
My friend ordered the Salad, it looked nice and HEALTHY.
If you go here, skip the guac!
Another Solid Brunch Spot!
Last week, Melissa and I continued eating our way through Manhattan. Because it was Saturday, the answer was BRUNCH. The question was: Where? Melissa, the smart native New Yorker that she is, suggested that we go to Dos Caminos Meatpacking (http://www.doscaminos.com/mexican-restaurant-locations/new-york-city). Who doesn't like trendy Mexican food?
I have been to some of the other Dos locations, but not this uber-hip one. Clearly I was excited! Dos Caminos offers a great brunch deal. It is not drink-until-you-embarrass yourself, though you do get one classy cocktail included in the price of your entrée. Agave (http://agaveny.com/) is a great option if you want to drink until you don't remember your name but the food is not as good - know your objective and you're good. Also, both of these Mexican spots take reservations which is fantastic. I don't have the patience to wait for a margarita.
The brunch menu has a nice selection of both sweet and savory options, all under $20 with the cocktail and coffee/tea. I continuously battle which to pick - such a huge life decision I know. I ended up with the Machacado Breakfast Tacos ($14) made with beef brisket, scrambled eggs, Vermont cheddar and salsa a la Mexicana. Melissa is a good friend and advised me to order the salsa on the side. This was a good move as I think "a la Mexicana" translated means you may not like this salsa. The taco shells were soft - good news. I felt it would be awkward to have a crunchy taco shell for brunch, it is too early for all the loud munching. The coffee was a bit odd, but of course I drank it.
For my cocktail choice, I chose the frozen prickly pear margarita from the selection that also included a frozen traditional margarita, Bloody Mary, screwdriver, mimosa, Champagne, orange or grapefruit juice. The cocktail was lovely - great level of sweetness without being cloying.
Overall, Dos Caminos is a solid spot. I do, however, take issue with the fact that chips are not brought out with salsa for free. For some reason, that just annoys me. I guess the trendy spots aren't into that.
The Omelette of the Day. Ok, I'll Have That!
Before going our separate ways for Winter break, I met up with Eileen for brunch. She was bound for Spain but not until we met for brunch at Lafayette (http://lafayetteny.com/). This is a lovely place for any meal. They make all of their breads at the restaurant; there is a bakery that displays all of the extravagant pastries. The croissants, French macaroons and sticky buns, among other items, looked DELICIOUS. I will need to stop by again for coffee and sweets when I'm on campus sometime .
It was a picturesque day to meet Eileen - a perfect winter afternoon, complete with snow! I had a great time working with her over the summer at Diageo - I look forward to working with her again after I graduate. I ordered the omelette special. It featured bacon, cheese and sliced potatoes with a side salad. I ordered a coffee that was really great - I hoped it would be since it was nearly $4! Those crazy French people! haha
Lafayette is on my list to return to in the next semester. It is very close to campus and a great place to take a break in.
Brunch with my Favorite Bunch!
Yesterday, I had a lovely afternoon with two of my favorite couples: Michelle & Ilya and Olivia & Cullen. You may be wondering: why are they so awesome? Quite simply, they don't make me seem like a failure / leper when I am the single gal at the table. I don't feel like a fifth wheel, I feel like the fifth person in an awesome group of people. It is refreshing - why aren't all couples like this?
We decided to check out Brooklyn Star (http://thebrooklynstar.com/). It is a Southern style restaurant with a wonderful brunch in Williamsburg (the North Side). The cocktail list is pretty awesome. I decided to order two completely different selections. I started with the Bourbon Bonbon, made with bourbon, iced espresso and condensed milk. YUM!!! The drink was almost too easy to drink. It was a bit sweet, so I only wanted to have one. Hangovers ruin Sundays...or any day.
For my next drink, I got the Bloody Bull. made with vodka, Bloody Mary mix, beef broth, and pickled string beans. It had a bit of a kick to it - yowzers! I only had one - so intense.
At brunch, I am constantly torn between sweet or savory. Shockingly, I miss the South sometimes - at least the cooking (and Warren!). I got the Shrimp and Grits, made with bacon, leeks and a fried egg.
I really loved this spot. The atmosphere is inviting, the food is lovely and the drinks are tasty. I will come back for dinner sometime!
It's Saturday - Of course we're going to Bottomless Brunch
With my friend (Meredith) still in town, I knew a boozy brunch would be on order for her and her friends. I wanted to check out a spot that I had not been before, so I suggested Essex (http://www.essexnyc.com/). I had heard good things and I love that the spot takes reservations - woot!
There were lovely freshly baked, hot onion rolls brought out to the table. I didn't partake - noooo bread for me! It looked delicious though - ugh! The brunch special is $23.95 for an entree and "3" cocktails (mimosas, screwdrivers or bloody marys). I use quotes because they are constantly refilled, so who knows how many were actually poured. The quality of the cocktails weren't exactly thrilling, but sometimes quality can be dodgy when you get unlimited quantity.
Meredith ordered the potato pancakes and I got the omelette with a side of sausage. I was really happy with what I ordered. Poor cocktails though aren't an excuse, so I would likely return to old reliable Agave! (http://agaveny.com/)
A week or so ago I met up with some Sternies and their significant others for a lovely brunch! I am always a fan of checking out unlimited brunch spots. My friend Christine picked Yerba Buena (http://www.ybnyc.com/media/yerbabuena.html). Here is the deal with the unlimited hour of cocktails. You pay $14 for one hour of whatever you want on the featured menu. My two favorite cocktails were the passion fruit Bellini and pisco drink made with guava. There were also tequila and beer based cocktails, as well as sangria.
I felt that the cocktails were a bit better than the food. I ordered a burger though, which may not have been the best call in a Latin American restaurant. I was also sad that the side of fries were incredibly thin (like shoestrings). I am NOT a fan of that style! I will most likely go back, but order a Cuban or something more authentic to the cuisine.