04.04.2013 by Andrea
Brunchlandia. I can’t take credit for coining this phrase but I will wholeheartedly thrust my hand in the air as an embracer of the trend. Brunches are deeply interwoven into the medley of my family memories and are the core main stage marquee event in escalating an ordinary weekend day to a wickedly fun day. It’s the perfect meal to get the easy breezy chitchat done with your girlfriends, stuff your face if you just experienced or received heartbreaking news, pretend to eat daintily [who I am kidding], if you’re on a date, and sit back and observe how everyone keeps growing up and out at a family holiday gathering.
Brunch has quickly become a staple meal in my eating repertoire and it’s exciting that I’m enjoying it on both coasts. I mentioned in my last post about Seattle that I didn’t stop eating for 4 days straight. One of the newest bistros I was introduced to on that eating bender was Ha! in Fremont. They do a bloody mary in the most excellent fashion and while they didn’t have hollandaise sauce smothered on anything their food is solid. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
My best friend was on a girls weekend with her sis and mum this past weekend in Seattle and asked me to compile list of must eat at restaurants and places to see. It had a bit of an Anthony Bourdain, The Layover feel as they had about 24 hours to navigate the city before reuniting with their families for Easter. Just in the downtown corridor alone, they wanted to walk from their hotel, I realized Seattle has a bevvy of brunch beauties. You can’t go wrong with Lola, Portage Bay Cafe, Serious Biscuit, Brave Horse Tavern, Local 360, The 5 Point Cafe, Chandler’s … the list grows immensely if you head up to Capital Hill. Seattle, fields some pretty legit brunch joints and gives other cities, such as my other home, a run for it’s money. I like it, I like it a lot.
One of the best parts of having a job that requires a fair amount of travel is that my co-workers have been able to extend out and or include time in Manhattan to play. It’s been a great way to add restaurants to my eating arsenal. I now feel qualified to host a person for a day, maybe two in the city, and can recommend a few fun places to eat, and can even suggest some traipsing to off the general tourist sightseeing path. While it’s fun to find the neighborhood hole in the wall, there always standards that must be visited as well.
BB flew in from Seattle a few weeks back and we got to revisit Beauty and Essex. We had been referred there via my friend JP when it was brand new, [two years ago, my time goes by quickly], and in town with some of our other girlfriends. At the time I was extremely dubious that our cab driver hadn’t dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. The pawnshop that you walk through to get through the restaurant fronts as a decoy. It’s one of the most breathtaking entrances and stairwells of restaurants I have graced and well worth the surprise.
BB and I went all out on brunch and if it sounded good we said yes. Our server said 5-8 plates of sharing is typical and if we didn’t have a time constraint I think we would have tried a few more.
Almost like Noah’s Ark, the plates kept coming two by two. BB and I had debated on choosing between marscapone grits and the lobster & chorizo hash. The hash won out. It was good but, we both thought it would be more hash-y if that makes sense. Crispy bite size potatoes instead of being shredded slightly altered what we had expected, but the generous chunks of lobster mixed with the spicy chorizo had us sending the dish back to the kitchen swabbed clean. We both thought the tomato tartare topped with a quail egg and the grilled cheese dumplings served in a spoonful of tomato soup were plates we could have easily devoured singlehandedly. Also, up for discussion were the braised chicken meatballs sprinkled with truffle or the braised short rib huevos rancheros. The meatballs would have been perfect for midday brunch, eating them at 11 was a bit rich for us, but not something I would steer clear of on a return visit.
For those who think they are going to sneak into town and not give me a heads up. Know this, I will find you. Case and point my friend G posted he was enjoying a hockey game in Newark. The power of social media swung in our favor and before you could snap your fingers and wiggle your nose we had plans to celebrate St. Patrick’s day with a few pints, and authentic Irish fare. Thank you facebook check-in’s!
Kudos to G for finding Mr. Dennehy’s. It was the perfect place to catch up, watch basketball and European football [soccer], plus celebrate St. Paddy’s day in a non trendy, authentic-ish Irish pub. Can’t wait for your new job to keep on bringing you back to the city!
It’s not like I need an excuse to consume hollandaise sauce, but it seemed appropriate on Easter to bring things back to the basics. Lady friend J, was in town and hadn’t seen my new pad, so after slogging through the Easter Bonnet Parade, and walking through Central Park we hopped on the subway downtown. I tend to forget smaller bistros are cash only affairs in NY, and while Little Italy was calling our names we ended up eating at Onieals. My friend M had hosted his 30th birthday cocktail hour there a few weeks back and apparently it fronted as Scout in SATC. Initially I was feeling more lunch like food but hollandaise just entices me, and I fell for the eggs benny hook, line, and sinker. J went for the tasty protein packed chicken pesto wrap. Mellow and low key, it was just what the we needed on one of the busiest brunch days of the year.
That’s all I got for this brunch-o-logue but I think it’s only getting started. I do believe Stanton Social is next on deck. If their menu is any indicator, it’s going to be a heavy hitter. Thanks for following me through this path of eating.
Until the next bite, cheers.