For those who don’t know, New Yorker’s take brunch very seriously. Every Sunday people crawl out of bed, whether they’re hungover or not, to let the best chefs in the country ease their pain and tempt their palates. If you work in a restaurant kitchen, Sunday mornings from 10 am (or really 8 am when you begin prep) till 4 pm is a time to be scared. A time to panic, and pray to whomever you believe in (the food gods, of course) for an easy morning. Pray that the tickets don’t get backed up. That the line chef standing next to you doesn’t flop his first order of omelets or pancakes.
For the rest of us — the civilians — all we have to do is cross our fingers that the front of house staff doesn’t run out of coffee.
The majority of people who brunch fall into one of two categories:
(1) Those who had a low key evening the night before. These people are able to get up in time to stand in line outside the restaurant (currently in 15 degree weather) 20 minutes before the doors open to ensure themselves a table.
(2) Those who had an epic night to remember (which sadly, they don’t remember) and are forced out of bed around 1 pm by their significant other because, let’s face it… if he or she doesn’t eat immediately, you’ll never hear the end of it.
I would say 99.9% of the time, John and I fall into the former.
Shocking, I know.
Our recent meal at Mile End, a Montreal-style Jewish delicatessen in Brooklyn, reminded me why I love brunch: when it’s prepared well, it can be the perfect start to your day.
The menu is a dream come true: not only do they have traditional breakfast fare (eggs, hash, bacon, etc.), but they’re also serving up all the Jewish deli classics a girl could want (latkes, chopped liver, lox, whitefish salad, brisket).
When you walk into Mile End, you have the option of sitting at the counter (with a direct view of the chefs as they cook — yes, please!) or at one of the smaller, family-style picnic tables in the room. We sat at the bar and chatted with the chefs a little as they worked. Everything here is homemade and fresh, from the twice-fried french fries, to the chopped liver and smoked brisket.
My decision was easy: the mont royal.
Potato and chive latke, lox, and a dollop of creme fraiche.
Heaven. Everything was seasoned well, presented simply, and absolutely delicious. The best part? Neither the lox nor the latkes were greasy. I could eat this every day. Continue reading Mile End