Tuesday, May 7, 2013

brunch, three ways

Crispy Kale & Avocado Sandwich crispy kale and avocado sandwich with piquillo pepper, currant and marcona almond relish. From Tandem Bar

I never really understood what people meant when they would proclaim their love for brunch. I mean, lunch is my preferred meal, but I've never thought, "Omg, I love lunch so much!" because that's weird. It doesn't make any sense. I'm still not sure that I even get what brunch is. I used to think it just meant extending acceptable breakfast hours, then I thought it was just a weekend word for breakfast. But once I moved to New York, I noticed that all these restaurants and bars have special brunch menus, although that often seems to just involve adding an egg and a side of home fries to the regular menu items. I'm still confused about the concept of brunch as it's own meal category, but now that it's been almost 2 years of living in Brooklyn, which is like, brunch headquarters, I'm starting to get it. 

I like brunch because anything goes--you can eat pancakes at 2 pm, put an egg on a hamburger and call it breakfast, add champagne to your orange juice--and nobody's gonna judge. It can be really tiring always trying to do what other people want and expect from you, and I think that's why people like brunch--it's a nice respite from a week spent trying to appease others, whether it's your friends or your boss or hungry customers. Going out to brunch is like re-claiming all those moments you had swallow that annoying lump in your throat, force a smile and say "Okay! Sure, whatever you want."  It's your turn to indulge yourself and do whatever makes you happy without worrying about anybody else. As my pal Nina would say, "You do you."

I ran out of things to say about brunch before I could transition into these photos, so I'm just going to stick them in here. Lazy, I know.

My sandwich at Tandem came with a choice of two sides. I chose patatas bravas and a side of grits because if that's an option, I always want it. I think Tandem named the potatoes "patatas bravas" just because it sounds nicer than "home fries" or "fried potatoes." And I'm pretty sure patatas bravas are supposed to come drizzled with mayonaise, and these did not. It's like when restaurants use "mayonnaise" and "aioli" interchangeably because aioli sounds fancy. Anyway, I'm not really complaining though because those were some seriously good potatoes. I swear they were fried in bacon fat--a nice hint of porkiness to my vegetable sandwich. The sandwich, by the way, was the most delicious vegetable sandwich I have ever had. And that's saying something because to me, a sandwich without cheese is hardly a sandwich at all. 

"Turkish Breakfast" from Olea: Eggs scrambled with cilantro, tomato and red onion, fattoush, eggplant salad, herbed yogurt and grilled pita bread. But as you can see, the pita bread was not grilled. I didn't care though.

Patty melt and fries from Mega Bites, which is a really strange name for a diner. I had never been there before, but my roommate loves diners, so I knew I'd end up there eventually. The only bad thing about my meal here was that I realized how close it is to my apartment next year. I know that sounds like a good thing, but I foresee way too many meals taking place at Mega Bites. I've never been one to exercise much control when it comes to my food cravings.

I hardly ever get patty melts, but this one made me wonder if I should make that a regular thing. The buttery sandwich bread really puts it over the edge. The fries were perfect--well seasoned, crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. I kept eating them long after I had started feeling uncomfortably full. I guess that's what they mean by Mega Bites?

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