Friday, August 19, 2011

Braving it.

If you weren't in New York on Sunday, you might not know this,, did it rain. Not pretty, misty rain. Serious, pounding, stay-inside-unless-you-feel-like-getting-soaked rain. It was one of those days that you're pretty sure you'd prefer to spend curled up with a cup of tea and a novel, you know?

But I didn't just curl up with a book - in fact, I had a pretty fantastic afternoon on the town, which started with a lovely brunch at Vandaag. Vandaag, opened its doors about a year ago in the East Village, and is one of my favorite eating spaces in the city. It feels cozy but open - nothing's crowded, but everything is intimate, if that makes any sense.

I've been for dinner, and I've been for cocktails, but this was my first brunch visit. My very favorite thing was the coffee, a pour-over brew of single-origin beans. Delicious - smooth, round and full. The way coffee should always be, but so rarely is.

I ordered the slow-poached eggs, which arrived cooked to oozy-yolk perfection and surrounded by mustard greens, some cherry tomatoes, croutons, a bit of corn, and the best part of all: pickled beets. The beets were sweet and just a bit piquant - and tasted to me as if they'd been tossed with a bit of butter on their way to me. Not a bad idea.

My friend Caroline ordered one of the house specialties: hette bliksem (hot lightning). A cast-iron crock arrived bearing the dish, which was made up of crispy potatoes and bacon tossed with a stroop syrup. (You know the filling in a stroopwafel cookie? That stuff.) Except that this syrup had a spicy kick to it. So it was a big ol' bowl of potatoes and bacon coated with spicy caramel. Crazy delicious and interesting, but perhaps better as a shared side than a main course.

I can't wait to go back and try the pork belly and scrambled eggs, or the other coffees. And since it's a straight shot down the east side, I don't think I'll have to wait too long.

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