This is a story of lessons learned in New York City, featuring two NYC brunch spots, and my large appetite for sweet things biting me in the butt.
When my friend Ally was back in town for the weekend, we had an excuse to do brunch. Back when I was exploring Williamsburg and the Mast Brothers chocolate factory, I spotted this quintessential Brooklyn brunch spot, further proving its hipster-dom with its name: egg (all lowercase). It looked quite chic judging by the interior: glass doors, white walls. I made a mental note for trying another day.
Luckily, Ally was down to try out egg on the lovely 50° December weekend she was around.
I had arrived early, so I put our names down and took a stroll. It looked like we made it right on time. After we sat down at 9:30, the strollers started rolling in with their entourages. We ordered, and were given fresh beignets to share.
The interior was in fact cute, with wooden benches along the wall, paper tablecloths, and crayons for drawing. I ordered pancakes and one egg. This will come as no surprise to most, as I have a particularly strong breakfast sweet tooth. Ally got Eggs Rothko: “Easy-cooked egg in a slice of Amy’s brioche and topped with Grafton cheddar”.
Ally reported making a good choice on her brunch. One bite into my pancakes, and I regretted everything.
The pancakes were flat and rubbery, as if they’d had their life beaten out of them – which I guess they did. Something in between a pancake and a crêpe, but nowhere near the satisfaction of either.
This was the universe telling me to work on my self-discipline when ordering breakfast. An apparent oversight, ordering something other than eggs at a place called “egg”was not my best brunch move. But I learned my lesson and am prepared to tell the tale.
Onto bigger and better things.
In the Lower East Side of Manhattan, there’s a place called “Egg Shop”. Now at least I’d heard good things about this place, and bothered to check that the Yelp reviews weren’t terrible.
My OG brunch buddy Megan and I met up there this morning to do what we do best: eat good food.
The interior was super cute, and surprisingly small, which partly explains the average wait time of 40 minutes at most hours. Side bar: you can often tell if a restaurant is good if it doesn’t take reservations. Did I make that up? Possible….but we think it’s legit.
I came close to ordering the French toast, but I recalled the last time I tried ordering sweet breakfast – !!red alert!! no bueno! I instead went with the Reformer + avocado: egg whites, feta, spinach,and heirloom tomato on multi-grain bread. Megan got the Pepper Boy: soft scramble, gruyère, bell pepper, maple cured pepper bacon, and caramelized onion aïoli on a panini roll.
It was SO GOOD. I quite barely finished both halves of mine, and was grateful for the knife and fork at my seat to help in the mess. The first thing I tasted was the avocado – smashed to spready-lemony perfection. I thought the sprinkling of Maldon salt on the bread was fairly comical, and would probably been more useful on the egg whites, but I really, really enjoyed this sandwich. Megan loved hers, too. I would say that I’ll try the French Toast next time, but there are so many other egg sandwich possibilities to try first.
1. Read Yelp reviews for a general overview of a restaurant before assuming it’s good based on its interior design.
2. Don’t order anything other than eggs from a place with egg in the title.