Brunch part two
After extensive coverage of pancakes, bacon and eggs, some of our readers are still hungry. Here, we try to give them their fill.
Tue Aug 18 2009
Photograph: Jeff Gurwin
Escargots with persillade custard
Date: June25, 2009 10:56:30 AM EDT
Subject: Starving Queens
“Your Perfect Brunch,” which focused on affordable spots, featured 15 restaurants—seven from Manhattan and eight from Brooklyn. I’m conflicted: Should I point out that Astoria locations like Locale, Cafe Bar and Brick match these other joints in terms of quality and charm, or should I keep the secret of our brunch-friendly ’hood? What about the rest of Queens?
Rob Wendt, Astoria, NY
Average wait on Sunday at noon: Ten minutes
Why we love it: This friendly Italian neighborhood spot serves greens and vegetables from the Greenpoint warehouse roof farm run by Ben Flanner and Annie Novak. Plus, it has reasonably priced cocktails, and these guys know how to cook polenta, brunch food of the gods.
Why it’s a deal: The most expensive item on the brunch menu is the hangover pizza ($10.50). Sprinkled with pancetta, potatoes, sausage and spicy tomato sauce, this curative thin crust is large enough to share, but it’s also delicious straight from your fridge the next day. 2102 30th Ave at 21st St, Astoria (718-545-5550, vestavino.com)
Average wait on Sunday at noon: Five minutes
Why we love it: The painted shack on this beautiful crumbling block of Rockaway Beach serves cheap, authentic tacos to Rockaway locals and the down-for-the-day Brooklyn crew. Come early for the killer chilaquiles, a cup of Jack’s Coffee and some homemade granola bars, or come late and get a fish taco made with crispy tilapia.
Why it’s a deal: Andrew Field spent four years cooking in Mexico, and his ultrasimple $3 tacos are made with a mix of locally sourced and homegrown ingredients (there’s a bucket garden on the roof). For an extra dollar, go with the deluxe taco with a generous scoop of freshly squashed guacamole. With the money you’ve saved on brunch, you can afford a surf lesson down the block. 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway (347-213-7466, rockawaytaco.com)
Average wait on Sunday at noon: Less than five minutes
Why we love it: La Flor is a charming, no-frills caf under the raised subway tracks, with a mixed brunch crowd of young families, couples and singles with the Sunday Times. The decor, set with mosaicked broken plates, may seem dangerous, but rest assured, it’s a kid-friendly spot.
Why it’s a deal: The coffee’s a little watery, but tough it out because the Puebla breakfast, huevos a la Mexicana and huevos rancheros, each under $8, are delicious. Prepare your mouth for perfectly cooked eggs, hot tortillas and refried beans galore. 53-02 Roosevelt Ave, Woodside (718-426-8023, laflorestaurant.com)—Tejal Rao
Date: June 30, 2009 11:23:39 PM EDT
Subject: A Hipster’s Perfect Brunch?
When I received your Brunch issue [TONY 717], I was very excited. I was quickly deflated when I realized that, save three places, you left out one of the city’s biggest bastions of brunch: the Upper West Side! Won’t you please publish a part two? Most of us are waiting!
Sandra, Upper West Side
LONG LINE AT...
483 Amsterdam Ave between 83rd and 84th Sts (212-496-0163, goodenoughtoeat.com).
Typical wait: 20 to 30 minutes
There’s plenty of sidewalk seating at this rustic Italian eatery—in fact, it nearly doubles the otherwise tiny restaurant’s capacity. Grab a table outside while the weather’s still nice and order items straight from the wood-burning brick oven. Sop up the saucy Uova alla Campagnola (eggs baked over tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms; $10) with a slice of crusty Italian bread, or break the brunch mold by eating pizza for breakfast. The thin-crust Solare pie ($11) is topped with ham and an egg, so it’s not as crazy as it sounds. 412 Amsterdam Ave between 79th and 80th Sts (212-787-1660, sebastianoitaliano.com)
This welcoming neighborhood joint is always bumping, but an abundance of space—two sizable dining rooms, a bar area and a wraparound outdoor patio—ensures you’ll never have to wait. Come for the Sunday prix-fixe brunch menu: $14.95 gets you a bottomless cup of coffee, a Bloody Mary or mimosa, a basket of homemade blueberry muffins served with tangy strawberry butter and an entre (we love Fred’s French toast, made with soft, chewy cinnamon raisin bread from Orwasher’s Bakery). Stay to ogle at the framed photos of puppies that litter the walls. 476 Amsterdam Ave at 83rd St (212-579-3076, fredsnyc.com)
It’s easy to overlook this slender space, which gets lost amid the behemoths on this restaurant row. But you shouldn’t: Fresh, locally sourced ingredients fuel everything from the coffee (made with organic Counter Culture beans) to the gourmet-caliber dishes, like salty poached eggs cooked in a mini cast-iron pot with spinach, salmon caviar and chunks of Atlantic salmon ($11), and a juice-dripping grass-fed beef burger ($11) served with crisp homemade potato chips. 452 Amsterdam Ave between 81st and 82nd Sts (212-501-7755, recipenyc.com)--Cristina Velocci