The long, thin venue of restaurant Friedman’s Lunch, a former delicatessen inside Chelsea Market, has an open kitchen behind the former glassed-in deli counter, bar stool seating in the front next to the takeout counter, and two-seater tables in the back for sit-down dining. The décor mirrors an antique farmhouse, with aged wallpaper, kickknacks, unique coat hooks, and dark wood tables, keeping a comfortable and intimate feel, without any sense of pretension.
Our corner booth was small but spacious, and service was absolutely impeccable. Denim shirts and black aprons kept the farmhouse theme in play, and our water glasses never went unfilled, drinks were attended to, and dishes were perfectly timed and served.
We sampled the Breakfast Tacos (a Cinco de Mayo special, available May 5 and 6), filled with a mixture of chorizo, potato, and eggs, topped with crema and cilantro; Steak Rancheros, sliced skirt steak cooked in tomatillo-chipotle salsa, placed between two fried tortillas topped with refried black beans, sunny-side up eggs, and cotija cheese; Chilaquiles, a dish with sunny-side up eggs, shredded chicken, fried tortillas, tomatillo sauce, cotija cheese, and topped with avocado and crema; with the addition of some fried green tomatoes (because they’re my favorite). Each dish wowed with flavor, complementing elements of spice and cool, and infusing sauces without bogging dishes down, keeping plates feeling fresh. To drink, we ordered Micheladas, drinks composed of a mixture of Modelo Cerveza, lime juice, tomato juice, and spices. The taste resembled a cool, smooth bloody mary mixed with Diablo cocktail, making it perfect for brunch and daytime drinking, and a great complement to the cool and spicy dishes.
Also of note are the menu prices — affordable, with the most expensive dish at $18. Cinco de Mayo specials brought some dishes down even more, including Micheladas, available for $5 each, Modelo Especial Beer for $2 each, breakfast tacos at two for $5, and Chilaquiles and Steak Rancheros for $17.
Justin Brunwasser, executive chef at Friedman’s Lunch, shared his excitement about the menu and Cinco de Mayo specials, as well as some news of another location opening soon. The new spot set to be opened at the end of the summer, will be located on 31st and Sixth Avenue, the same size but with an updated décor. His Cinco de Mayo menu love? Micheladas. "On a hot day, my day off, I’ll be throwing a couple of these back," he said. And we agreed; as lovers of spicy cocktails, will definitely keep this beer-infused drink on the go-to list.
My overall rating for the food and drink experience at Friedman’s Lunch was unparalleled — an unbelievable mix of Mexican and brunch, with a focus on fresh, full tastes that definitely deliver.