New York City is not a food heaven, but THE food heaven. It’s hard not to find a single restaurant on any street at all and this is backed up by statistics, which says that if you hop to a different eatery in NYC for every meal it would take you 52 years to finish trying every one of them. For the past 2 months prior to my trip I’ve been looking up cafes, bakeries, ice cream shops and restaurants on the net so I pretty much have a long list of places that can’t even be fulfilled on a single trip alone.
Among these places, Peels is one of the top casual brunch spots in Manhattan ($$$$) where both tourists and locals patron often. It made for a perfect stopover en route to the Brooklyn Bridge (our main attraction of the day), being only a short 5 minute walk away from the nearest subway station. Reaching at 8.45am, we found ourselves stepping into the warmth of an empty, 2-storey restaurant. The brunch crowd comes a few hours later. PS I heard that on busy summer weekends queuing for brunch takes hours. I was amazed at how NYC restaurants take their decor seriously. Not a single piece of furniture is mismatched and the interior is rustic charm at its best. I can imagine how vibey it must be in summer when all the colors come to play.
The Cinnamon Sugar Donut (3 USD) comes with a price tag heftier than our local Krispy Kreme outlet but at least the Americans are serious about their donuts.
Farmers Breakfast (13.5 USD) was a King’s breakfast – fried eggs, smoked bacon, hash browns and toast. The best big breakfast yet. If you think you’ve had the best bacon in Singapore, the bacon here puts it to shame. It’s thick, juicy and what a good bacon should be – oozing with goodness. Also – look at that perfectly fried sunny side up. Even the toast was adequately fluffy.
I ordered Biscuits & Gravy (12.5 USD) for myself because online reviews rave about the biscuits here. This particular dish may not look the most appealing and delectable but based on taste, it says otherwise. Poached eggs here have egg whites which are a lot firmer but still producing a runny yolk which spills out. Instead of the usual English muffin or toast, the North American version of the biscuit, a soft quick bread or aka the biscuit from Popeyes, lies below the 2 poached eggs. And on top of it all is not the usual hollandaise but a much more sinful, flavorful sausage gravy. Filled with bacon bits, it complemented the main dish so well that each bite was as pleasant as eating into warm lava cake. Kudos to the just-right portion which saves the entire dish from being overbearing. For something more flexible there is also the option to Build A Biscuit where you choose from a list of items to be sandwiched between 2 biscuits.
I wished we had the opportunity to order from their brunch menu.. It’s one of the reasons why people keep going back. Nonetheless I had one of my best breakfasts on that wintry Saturday morning. There were mixed reviews about the service at Peels but I received warm, attentive service from a male server. A pretty good morning for me indeed. Oh bring me back to NYC.. who cares about the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building when you can have fabulous brunches in the Big Apple?
New York, NY 10003