Brunch in New York can be a real treat or a real chore, depending on where you go. The best places offer great food at reasonable prices with friendly service. A short wait? Well, we're talking brunch in New York, and that's probably asking for too much. The worst places have eternal lines and no reservations, followed by food that's mediocre at best cooked by the B-team (which is sometimes the previous night's A-team, just hungover from post-dinner shift shenanigans), served up by harried (and sometimes hostile or indifferent) waitstaff. All of this, however, is assuaged by some sort of unlimited drinks special.
Fortunately, for those who are tired of the latter, Tom's Restaurant, located in picturesque Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, is definitely the former. If you're looking for hair of the dog here, you've probably come to the wrong place. But if you're looking for a no-nonsense approach to brunch, Tom's hasn't forgotten that it's actually a meal.
The selection of pancakes is mind-boggling. There are straight-up silver dollar pancakes. There are Danish pancakes. There are mango-walnut pancakes. There are chocolate chip pancakes. They even get fancy with some lemon-ricotta pancakes. You get the idea. And all of them hover around $8 for an enormous stack enough for two. The wait's long on weekends, but the owner is out and about giving away pancakes (with syrup!) to people in line to keep them from walking away. Nice touch.
Other notable items include a fantastic chili burger; a Mexican omelette with chicken, Cheddar, and chipotle sauce; and golden challah french toast ($5! Eat that, Manhattan!). If you're out and about in Brooklyn, this place is definitely worth a try.
Closest subway stops are 7th Avenue (B, Q) and Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum (2, 3). (Photo courtesy of Betty Tsang)