Brunch is an important meal to most New York City residents (Brooklynites included), and for good reason. After working absurdly long hours Monday through Friday, it's practically necessary to let your hair down and blow off some steam come Saturday. Brunch is the ideal way to celebrate the end of the week and the forthcoming days off; it's so practical- you can catch up with friends, fill your belly and carry an early afternoon buzz well into the evening. You can order eggs until 4 pm and wash everything down with vodka and tomato juice or champagne. Talk about killing 5 birds with one stone. And although some people have this bizarre misconception that everything hip and cool and delicious is ONLY happening in Manhattan, there are actually several fabulous food destinations in Brooklyn. Shocking! You can easily find yourself a terrific brunch just across the bridge(s), and here are the top 5 that Joonbug recommends:
Egg: This tiny little Carolina inspired eatery in Williamsburg is always packed. Tucked away without any real sign, you can find the restaurant easily just by the crowds of people spilled out on the sidewalk awaiting a table. The soulful food is simple but delicious. Sweet and slightly apathetic waitresses serve up decadent biscuits and gravy studded with pork sausage or pan seared mushrooms. The chorizo and egg sandwich is sloppy and rich and no doubt, completely bad for you. The real winner though, is the Eggs Rothko- an easy cooked egg nestled in a slice of brioche and covered in Grafton cheddar. For those seeking a healthy additive- add broiled tomatoes or sauteed organic kale to any item.
Northeast Kingdom: If you can brave the consistently delayed L train to the Jefferson stop in Bushwick, you will be rewarded with fabulous brunch fare at this quirky little gem. Warm cinnamon pecan buns and meatloaf sandwiches with duck fat fried tater tots can be ordered alongside a michelada (beer and tomato juice) or a minted greyhound. Keep your eyes peeled for some beautiful hipster sightings.
The Farm on Adderly: Down past Prospect Park in the little known Ditmas/Flatbush area, you will find this labor of love. The philosophy here- honest food from local farms served in simple ways. Dishes like Fisherman's Eggs- two poached egggs over smoked trout and a potato latke with hollandaise, and Red Flannel Hash- corned beef with beets and a beet mustard are original and tasty. Try the chocolate brioche with sea salt and butter as an after brunch dessert. The farm-to-table vibe and friendly service will keep you coming back to this diamond in the rough. We promise.
Olea: Nowhere is quite as precious as Fort Greene, Brooklyn. A perfect mix of brownstones, cafes and people of all different walks of life make it so damn easy to love. Olea only adds to this neighborhoods existing charm. Brunch consists of all kinds of Greek, Spanish and Italian inspired treats. Homage is paid to Dr. Seuss with their Mediterranean version of Green Eggs and Lamb- scrambled eggs with cilantro served with merguez style lamb sausage and pita. Not a fan of sweets in the morning? Try the Savory Parmesan French Toast with pea shoots and avgolemono- a traditional egg-lemon sauce; there's nothing like it.
Rose Water: Rounding out our list at number five, this quaint Park Slope brunch pre-fixe is noteworthy. Items like baked polenta with goat cheese, eggs and cavolonero or a fried feta sandwich with pimenton dusted fries are all accompanied by one of Rose Water's signature (non-alcoholic) drinks. Choose from their namesake rose water lemonade, strawberry-rhubarb juice or a hibiscus iced tea among others. All dishes plus drink are just $14. If you're not counting your carbs or watching your weight or doing something else equally depriving, please order the bread basket. All homemade and warm, these breads are FANTASTIC. Slather some jelly on that scone and pat yourself on the back for a week well worked, and a belly well fed. The wait here can be steep but just take this opportunity to admire all of the beautiful joggers that inhabit Park Slope.
Brooklyn is only foreign and strange to those who don't live here. It is actually closer to some parts of Manhattan that most of Manhattan itself. The food is comparable to anything you can find anywhere else in the boroughs and the people, ambiance and wait for a seat are usually better. So, next time your artist friends on this side of the island coax you to meet them for a leisurely Brooklyn brunch, consult this list and prepare to get your bloody mary on, Brooklyn style.