Spoon & Tbsp
I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been a while since I’ve tried a new place for brunch in the city. Usually, I’ve been sticking to the most convenient options for me (Eatery in Midtown), or the no-fail ones (Cafe Mogador in the East Village). It’s so nice to break out of that routine though, and upon the suggestion of my friend Sadia, we found another gem: Spoon. Spoon is the name of the family-owned restaurant, but they also have a takeout storefront they refer to as Tbsp (so cute).
The space is so cozy and feels like you’re eating in a country house (perhaps the point — owner Melissa Chmelar credits her mother’s country cooking as inspiration for most of the dishes). The farm-to-table concept results in really fresh, really delicious plates with seasonal organic produce delivered daily from upstate NY. We didn’t get to try too much of their sweet options (even though they sounded amazing — cinnamon brioche french toast!), but the eggs made all different ways were insanely good.
By Summar Ghias
I had long been intrigued by the farm-to-table Logan Square tavern Longman & Eagle for its triple threat status as buzzed-about restaurant, bar and inn. After several failed attempts at eating a meal there (on account of their ‘no reservation’ policy and my frequently impatient stomach), I was finally able to give the place a try for brunch. It was my first time eating the down-South specialty known as “Chicken and Waffles” and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
Chicken and Waffles: Fried Chicken, Waffles, Sweet Potato Hash (sans the normal Pork Belly), and Maple Syrup
Longman and Eagle’s version of soul food is incredibly flavorful: the herb crusted fried chicken and fluffy waffles come with a yummy sweet potato hash (we got the no pork version). Combined with maple syrup, it’s a conveniently sweet but savory dish for the indecisive brunch-goer. We ate it all together – chicken, waffle and syrup in each bite – which I was later told says a lot about you. What, exactly? I go big or go home. Obviously.
A less exciting Cinnamon Spiced Brioche French Toast with Citrus Butter and Praline Pecans.
By Summar Ghias
The concept is simple. In a world where brunch still reigns supreme, why not open a place that focuses solely on waffles?
That place is literally called Waffles. We’ll knock off a few points for originality, but perhaps the intention was to be perfectly clear. The South Loop joint, which was voted best new breakfast by Time Out Chicago this year, pays homage to the doughy goodness by serving everything from zen green tea waffles to the more hearty and Southern inspired chicken-and-waffle combo with a spicy maple syrup.
My Mexican chocolate waffles with orange anglaise and shaved dark chocolate. I don't usually mix citrus and chocolate, but this proved I should go out of my standard food box more often.
Brunch at Bergdorf Goodman should be one of your bucket list places to go in NYC. I can’t help but sometimes think a lot of the made-popular-by-movies/shi-shi places are over-hyped but I’ve been to BG Restaurant once for my birthday and recently for my friend/cousin/fashionista extraordinaire’s birthday (Hi Heba!) and it has never failed to satisfy. Both elegant and delicious. Plan in advance though for a reservation — it’s not always easy to get a table for brunch!!
Sun-dried tomato gnocchi
By Sabrina Enayatulla
On an early Sunday afternoon the wait for brunch at The Bluebell Cafe in Gramercy is literally spilling onto the sidewalk. Of course a busy restaurant is always a good sign, but on a weekend with afternoon plans already in place, the Best Friend and I decided to reschedule. Since Bluebell serves breakfast (the meal with our most favorite food choices!) until 11 a.m. during the week, we returned to enjoy the French cuisine fused with traditional American home-style cooking the following day, Monday morning.
The Bluebell Cafe
Bluebell can be best described as a place that’s reminiscent of a relative’s house where you might go for Thanksgiving. It’s warm and cozy and has the feel of being a favorite local small town drop-in. For breakfast we ordered to share: over-easy eggs, buttermilk biscuits, wheat toast, buttermilk pancakes and blueberry pancakes served with maple syrup and dusted with powdered sugar, and Brioche French toast served with berry compote and lemon curd.
I can be a bit indecisive at times so I almost always ask to mix up the offerings on restaurant menus because I want a little bit of everything. At Bluebell, this started as soon as I saw the pancake menu. Like that pack of butterfly-and-hearts covered cotton undies that your mom left on your bed after a Kmart run back in the ’90s, the pancakes at Bluebell come in a set of three. Problem was, I had to choose between buttermilk and the day’s special: blueberry.
When I heard celebrity nutritionist, Keri Gans, was partnering up with Thomas’ Bagel Thins, my first thought was…”Really?” As much as I love them, when I think of anything-bagel, I don’t necessarily think of it as the healthiest meal option. I guess I didn’t really pay attention to the “thins” part of it. Here, Gans shares some of best tips to stay active and healthy!
Beauty and the Feast: For someone who literally has 10 minutes to spare before running out the door, what are some quick and nutritious breakfast ideas?
Keri Gans: Try
Lowfat plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup high fiber cereal & cup of berries
Thomas’ Whole Wheat Bagel Thins bagel with 2 TBSP natural peanut or almond butter
1 cup high fiber cereal (like Kashi Go Lean) with 1 cup low fat milk, sprinkle of almonds and sliced banana
Quick cooking oatmeal made w/ ½ cup dry oats and 1 cup lowfat milk, topped with TBSP of chia seeds, cinnamon and ¼ cup of lowfat cottage cheese
BATF: What are some good snacks to overcome an afternoon slump at work?
A piece of fresh fruit with a handful of nuts
Individual serving size of cheese (like Mini Baby Bell) and piece of fruit
Thomas’ Light Multi Grain English Muffin topped w/ 3 slices of turkey, mustard & tomato
Individual can of tuna with fresh lemon on multi-grain crisp bread (i.e. WASA)
Raw veggies with ¼ cup hummus
Roasted edamame ¼ cup
Glass of chocolate milk