I was introduced to Freemans when I first moved to the city years ago, and it’s everything I love about NYC — the novelty of stumbling upon a hidden restaurant at the end of the alley that has the rustic interior of a comfortable colonial home, but smack in the middle of the Lower East Side. I’ve been there for dinner a few times (love their roasted chicken and five-cheese macaroni), but this was my first time there for brunch. For some reason, this visit was a little underwhelming, and I think maybe it was because the eggs were on the bland side and we over did the cheese — note to self, don’t order artichoke dip and the five cheese macaroni in one sitting. While they’re both great on their own, together it’s a bit much.
Also, this time the breaded baked mac n cheese was not as good as I remember…
The cuisine they serve here is intentionally simple, but after going there for brunch, I’ve decided there is something a lot more special about this place at night. Could be the string of lights hanging above the restaurant that you’ll really only notice when it’s dark out. Maybe it’s the only inviting indicator that there’s something going on at the end of the otherwise empty alley. It’s also a lot more cozy for dinner, although it has an otherwise pretty rambunctious ambiance. I think that’s part of the restaurant’s homely character. I do think it’s worth a visit, though. Whatever time you do go, be prepared to wait in line.
End of Freeman Alley, off Rivington
between Bowery and Chrystie Streets
New York, NY 10002
Lower East Side