Best Of: New York Brunch Slide Show

By
Maryse Chevriere

Biscuits and gravy unlike you’ve had them before — dense house-made arepas disguised as biscuits. They’re mealy rather than fluffy, flavored by cornmeal, not buttermilk, and are smothered in a thick, chili-like chorizo gravy. It’s intensely smoky with a heat that creeps up on you — a tingle that starts at the back of your throat, then rushes to the tip of your tongue without warning. There’s not much to balance the spice save the yolk from the fried eggs on top.

Biscuits and Gravy at Cabrito

Maryse Chevriere

Biscuits and gravy unlike you’ve had them before — dense house-made arepas disguised as biscuits. They’re mealy rather than fluffy, flavored by cornmeal, not buttermilk, and are smothered in a thick, chili-like chorizo gravy. It’s intensely smoky with a heat that creeps up on you — a tingle that starts at the back of your throat, then rushes to the tip of your tongue without warning. There’s not much to balance the spice save the yolk from the fried eggs on top.

Fried Chicken and Waffles at Back Forty

Maryse Chevriere

At Back Forty this dish consists of three pieces of thin, crisp chicken paired with pancake-soft waffles. A side of maple syrup is the only sauce. It’s all you need — but in moderation, please — there’s enough flavor and juiciness in the chicken to satisfy. It’s the kind of dish you’ve had before, and despite ambitions of wanting to try something new, can’t help but order again.

Amatriciana al Forno at Maialino

Maryse Chevriere

The sauce in this dish at Mailino isn’t very spicy as advertised, but it is a great rendition of tomato sauce, one that proves why eggs and tomato sauce belong together. It's a dish you wish you could find more often.

Porchetta al Uovo at Maialino

Maryse Chevriere

Maialino makes A great breakfast sandwich. There is a sizable portion of roast pork and fried eggs on ciabatta, and fresh greens. How often do you get fresh greens on a breakfast sandwich and it actually works?

Crispy Poached Eggs with Caviar and Crème Fraîche at Perry St

Maryse Chevriere

Two arancini-looking poached eggs are perched on top of and around thick bread cubes that resemble precisely-cut, toasted marshmallows in the corner of the plate — breakfast ramparts. Cutting into the thin crusty shell reveals hollow space, a thin layer of white, and runny yolk. The tangy, whipped crème fraîche, and caviar costs $17 extra for this great Perry St dish, but provide textural nuance, and the requisite seasoning (the caviar). You have to work to maximize the yolk, and compose bites that balance the flavors. It’s a dish that needs a ‘batteries not included’ star, and a disclaimer: “Participation and effort required.” But if you’re looking for something truly interesting to eat at this time of the day, here it is.

Polenta with Pork Shoulder, Benton's Bacon, Poached Egg, and Parmigiano at Roberta's

Arthur Bovino

This dish at Roberta's works great if you need something filling, and rib-sticking, with a poached egg cooked the way a brunch cook knows it should be cooked whether they want to be there early-morning or not.

Pecan Pie French Toast with Bourbon, Molasses, and Toasted Pecans at Buttermilk Channel

Maryse Chevriere

The wedges of moist, spongy, pound cake-tinted bread are cleverly cut to mimic the shape of a very thick pie. Buttermilk Channel's version is French Toast as dessert. If you’re sharing, you may find yourself fighting over the caramelized toasted pecans.

Fried Pork Chop with Cheddar Waffles at Buttermilk Channel

Maryse Chevriere

This cousin of Buttermilk Channel's famed fried chicken with Cheddar waffles is not to be missed. It’s served with the same chewy, cheese-crusted waffles, and a side of maple syrup. Try the syrup if you want that salty-sweet effect, but you don’t actually need it and you won’t want to soften the crust. It’s like the kind on great coconut shrimp — light, not greasy, and audibly crunchy. Combined with the chop’s thinness, it really makes for an enjoyable dish.

Azteca Soup at Mesa Coyoacan

Maryse Chevriere

Ancho Chile, chile guajillo, queso fresco, and avocado. Mesa Coyoacan's warm and spicy soup is still soft on the stomach and extremely satisfying.

Crispy Braised Bacon with Soba in Smoky Miso Broth with Sunny Egg at Traif

Arthur Bovino

Strips of portobello, thick bacon, runny egg, and a spicy brown broth with a good back-of-throat scratch. A very tasty brunch soup at Traif.

Bacon-Egg‐Cheese Sliders at Traif

Arthur Bovino

Traif's bacon-egg-cheese Sliders are excellent — creamy wet egg curds spilling out and thick-cut bacon. They’re served on soft, toasted Hawaiian bread rolls that are faintly sweet and smell of the promise of just-risen dough. Sweet potato fries are more like thin shards, quick crisp and soft inside — great paired with the tangy, light aioli. Though these are better as amuse-bouches, something to whet your appetite.

Reuben Sanchez at Vinegar Hill House

Arthur Bovino

Braised corned beef, sharp Cheddar, tomatillo-jalapeño jam an excellent, eggless breakfast sandwich at Vinegar Hill House. The meat is soft and flavorful, covered in oozing cheese, highlighted with the occasional zip of jalapeño, between pieces of bread that have been given the butter-toast treatment. Soft with grease in some places, blackened and crunchy along the rim, with a soft undercarriage.

Southside Benedict at Wildwood Barbecue

Arthur Bovino

Neither Wildwood's pitmaster, "Big Lou" Elrose, nor B.R. Guest’s Corporate Chef, Brett Reichler, are from Chicago or L.A., and when asked about the name they said, “It just sounded good.” Tastes good too. Pulled pork-laden buttermilk biscuits topped by two poached eggs dressed with chipotle hollandaise and pickled jalapeños are accompanied by Cheddar grits. Perfectly-runny poached eggs, moist threads of vinegary pulled pork (even the soft black crust) and that creamy chipotle hollandaise. It goes even better when eaten with a side of Wildwood baked beans with burnt ends and bacon.

Sandwich Cubano at Yerba Buena Perry

Maryse Chevriere

Traditionalists will no doubt cry, “Sacrilege!” over the use of Brie in a Cubano. But at Yerba Buena Perry, the cheese is not as out of place as you might expect. It adds the gooey creaminess you need in a sandwich that’s served on this kind of crusty bread. There’s a good amount of salt too, from the combination of Serrano ham and small shreds of BBQ suckling pig.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza at Balaboosta

Arthur Bovino

At Balaboosta a cute, small personal pie, made with chewy, pita-esque bread that arrives nicely charred from the grill. It's topped with Piave Cheese, Chorizo, Pickled Onions, and Sunny-Side Up Eggs. Take a moment to consider your approach: knife and fork it, or fold in half and attack with both hands? Runny yolks, thin slivers of salty Piave, pickled onions, oil sheen and spice from the chorizo — either way, the result is win-win.

Bauru at Casa

Arthur Bovino

There are only three renditions of this popular Brazilian sandwich served in New York, and the best one can only be found on the weekends for brunch at Casa. (Click here to read more about other New York City baurus.) Two small rolls with airy insides, and a thin, flaky crust. The melted cheese is spread over Applegate’s Farm Ham, tomato, and pickle. It’s served with a lightly-dressed side salad with hearts of palm, and a ramekin of a jalapeño hot sauce. The kind of bread, the amount of cheese, the ratio of bread to cheese, it’s New York’s best, no contest.

Blueberry Pancakes at Clinton Street Baking Co.

The Daily Meal Staff

There’s no denying the public clamor for Clinton Street Baking Co.’s blueberry pancakes. Amazingly light and spongy flapjacks arrive straight-piled and three-tall, riddled with blueberries, topped with blueberry sauce, and accompanied by an insanely decadent, warm, caramel-colored maple butter. They are sweet, delicious, and everything that a great pancake should be.

Bacon Tasting at Clover Club

Arthur Bovino

The bacon tasting at The Clover Club consists of three styles of thick-cut bacon — maple bacon, pepper bacon, and duck bacon — served on toast. Pepper bacon is the thickest, really fatty, seasoned, but not overwhelming. Duck bacon is more like a thin piece of steak than bacon. The sweet-salt tang of maple bacon makes it an easy winner.

Burrito de Papa with Eggs, Chorizo Potatoes, Jack Cheese, and Refried Beans at Downtown Bakery II

Maryse Chevriere

Legitimate enough to silence disgruntled Texans and Californians who bemoan the state of Mexican food in New York. Downtown Bakery II's burrito de papa has all the right elements: spicy chorizo, fluffy scrambled eggs, soft potatoes, and thick refried beans. If you like heat, ask for the green sauce. For $7, this large, easily portable sandwich is a great value.

'Scampi and Grits' at Locanda Verde

Arthur Bovino

“Scampi and Grits,” a Southern classic reinterpreted through an Italian lens at Locanda Verde, is an absolute must-order. Small rock shrimp, so tender and delicate they break the way an orange vesicle does. Nubs of sausage in a tomato sauce that is more sweet than savory. It’s wonderful over the not too coarsely textured polenta and mixed with the yolk from two coddled eggs.