a few words on brunch in new york. i never really "did brunch" before i came here; i thought that was an event that occurred only among very rich and awful people in movies, and in one simpsons episode. but here it's a thing, and like every other thing here there's a range from very casual to very fancy. i, of course, started on the casual end. i did, pre-veganity, once have brunch at the oh-so-chic balthazar bistro in soho. it's a very see-and-be-seen scene, and we saw kate moss. she looked like crap. i had the best damn fruit salad i've ever had in my life. i don't even remember what else i ate, actually. but when brunch became a thing for me, suffice it to say that being seen was not my first priority.
after my first brunch experience, i got addicted to the huevos con chorizo at curly's vegetarian lunch on 14th street. of course i got it made with tofu (they offer a good percentage of their menu in vegan versions). and when you order off the brunch menu there, a mimosa or a sangria is included! which is, of course, the way it should be but usually isn't. it's crazy good, still, but i sort of burned out on it. and while they have some other nice offerings, like the croque madamme and the breakfast burrito and the huevos rancheros, i've run them all into the ground. so then it became sacred chow, whose italian fritatta is still a thing of mystery and joy. and served with the prettiest little side of fruit you ever saw. i love sacred chow, and lament their uncomfortable seating. the food makes it worth it though...
a beautiful spread at sacred chow...
i've done a few other brunch places here and there, like kate's joint (mediochre and largely non-vegan, like their regular menu) and organic grill. i've never had a truly bad brunch experience; sometimes it's just nothing to talk about.
but yesterday, we finally made it to brunch at blossom (9th ave between 21st and 22nd). (beware the website - there's music.) brunch there has eluded us mainly because of its very small window: 12 to 3 pm. but by the skin of our teeth we managed it, and my dear was it worth the walk. we had the grilled pizza appetizer, which we knew from our previous dinner experience was heaven topped with caramelized onions. then we had blueberry pancakes and the tofu scramble, which were seemingly unexciting options. but oh, but oh. those were the best pancakes i have ever had, and i mean that... sorry mom. the texture was perfect, soft and doughy but not too doughy, with tons of ripe wonderful colorful blueberries hidden inside. they were lightly dusted with powdered sugar, and had a very delicate cinnamon flavor, so that i didn't even want to pour the syrup on them. i did taste the syrup, however, to confirm what my boyfriend claimed: it's liquored. mmm. yes.
and then the tofu scrambe. so simple, right? but possibly the best i've ever had. not bland, but not too salty or seasoned, with skinny slices of red pepper and i don't even remember what else. and served with a very nice multi-grain toast and perfect (perfect!) french fries. we also got some coffee... which they serve in a lovely glass french press.
by chance i suppose, we caught the place totally empty - my favorite. ok, so there was one other couple there, but whatever. we sat in the far corner (also my favorite), and our waiter was great, and they were playing the magnetic fields. the experience in all was pure brunch bliss.