As y’all know I love NYC. So you can imagine how bummed I was at not having visited since summer 2010, due to that whole unemployment thing. Jon and I planned a trip to the city for my birthday, which was in March, but there was a specific show we wanted to see (more on that later) so we planned our trip around ticket availability. The second weekend in April was the only weekend that worked for our schedules.
Since I’m not yet allowed to take vacation days at work, we planned a very quick weekend trip. We took a 6:00am flight to NYC on Saturday morning and so landed around 7:30. We didn’t check any bags so we were at our hotel (the Hilton Midtown East, on 42nd Street near Grand Central. We Pricelined it and so didn’t have a ton of choice, but it was a very nice hotel and it worked for the one night we were there) by 8:30. I had decided to go someplace trendy and typically crowded to breakfast/brunch, since we were in the city early enough to beat the crowds. After a bit of decision making, I finally settled on April Bloomfield’s The Breslin in The Ace Hotel down near Herald Square. April Bloomfield is a British chef who has been having a moment for awhile–she also owns The Spotted Pig and The John Dory–but she’s having a bigger moment now because she just published a book, so she’s getting a lot of extra press. She’s known for her decadent, pork-and-butter infused dishes, and also for her very crowded restaurants, so I decided that this was my best chance at getting to eat at one of her establishments without waiting in line forever (no reservations, of course).
We caught a Subway and were at The Breslin by 9:00. The place was mostly empty, only a few hotel guests were there eating breakfast. The restaurant is all dark wood and plastic animal heads mounted on the wall. I didn’t want to take too many pictures, so I didn’t get any of the interior, but I could tell that at night it gets very loud and sceney. In the morning it was relaxed, with Fleet Foxes playing over the speakers.
I talked Jon into order the lamb burger, which many food writers have called transcendent. I didn’t think I could do a whole lamb burger at 9:00 in the morning, so I decided to break my Passover with a breakfast sandwich of house-cured ham, lots of cheese, and an egg. I know, so Kosher. Anyways, here is our food (sorry about the quality of the pictures, I told you it was dark in there, and I didn’t want to use flash).
So that’s my sandwich on top. It was basically fried in butter. I’m not a huge fan of ham, but this was so salty and flavorful that I was totally pleased. The egg was still soft, and oozed lots of yolk when I cut into the sandwich. I definitely could not finish it–it was rich and fortifying and fatty and delicious and great. Jon’s lamb burger was also great (he allowed me only one bite, alas). It tasted strongly of lamb and that was pretty much it, with just a thin slice of feta and some red onion to give some salt and crunch. The burger was served with thrice-cooked french fries which were amazing. I don’t usually like thick-cut french fries, as I prefer my fries with a lot of crunch. However, the triple-frying method gave a really crisp, salty, crunchy exterior while preserving a soft, potatoey interior. Amazing french fries, guys, I couldn’t stop eating them.
So, the trick to eating in a trendy establishment without waiting is to GO EARLY. You might not see the scene, but you’ll eat the food, and in reality that’s what is really worth it am I right?