Brunch at Balaboosta in Nolita
I believe in second chances (ok, maybe that applies mostly to restaurants). The chef has an off day. The waiters are not in the best of moods. Maybe it’s just not the right dish or meal time that exemplifies the restaurant at its best. On that last point, let me just say the first time I went to Balaboosta was for dessert and tea, and it was pretty disappointing. But I did say, and I quote, “the rest of the menu sounded good, so I’m not writing it off just yet. I’ll definitely go back for another meal — just not for the dessert this time.” And that I did.
Brown sugar cubes
So when my friend Samar was in town and we were looking for place near SoHo, I remembered this Mediterranean spot again. The vibe is just as buzzy in the morning and looking over the menu, it was hard to decide between the breakfast pizzas, or something more sweet like the coconut brioche french toast. I wanted something with a little bit of spice to it, so I went with the Shakshuka, Moroccan baked eggs in spicy tomato cazuela, spinach, grilled country bread and added a side of merguez. Samar went with the lamb-egg special of which the name totally escapes me.
Lamb and eggs
Our food was satisfying and I’m glad I gave it a second chance. It’s probably pretty normal price-wise for the area, but for a meal and coffee here totaled about $50 — a little more than I think what you get portion-wise makes sense. If I’m looking in the area, I’d definitely go back though. We didn’t have to wait long for a seat and the service was great. But if you’re willing to sacrifice a short-wait time, and looking for the same genre of food for brunch at half the price, I’d visit Cafe Mogador in the East Village instead for their brunch specials.
214 Mulberry St # 1
near Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Occasion: Out of town visitor catch-up session!
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: Yes (for brunch)…I still need to try that French toast!
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