Spend a lazy weekend in New York, and you’ll spy a parade of pooches and hoards of people dining al fresco, eating brunch. Back in the day brunch was simply another excuse to get drunk during the day, but now that I’ve embarked on a life free of alcohol I’ve been more discerning about the places I want to patron because I can’t realize on the taste bud anesthesia that only a bottle of wine can bring.
A creature of habit, I tend to cleave a handful of haunts — many of which are within walking distance of my gym. After years of ranting about the EVILS of spinning, I found myself taking a class with my friend and falling rapturously in love. Once I got over the pain of sitting on an uncomfortable bike for 45 minutes I began to feel energized, re-charged and cleansed after my cycling class. There’s something cathartic about being in a dark room, pushing yourself to your limits — being on the verge — and then leaving, soaking wet, and stepping out into the warm light of day.
For the past few weeks I’ve made in my routine to start my Saturday with a cycle class and a brunch catch-up with a close friend. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Doma Na Rohu. From the hand-crafted ceramic mugs and dishes to the cranberry tea on tap to the fluffy eggs and lingonberry preserves, there’s no shortage of flavor in this airy, rustic brunch spot. You’ll find the freshest ingredients, local produce, organic eggs and a menu that’s full on flavor and easy on your pocket.
But if you’re looking for the hot hotcake spot, look no further than Clinton Street Bakery. A LES institution, you’ll find the fluffiest pancakes (they whip their whites into a mousse-like consistency to get aerated cakes), locally-sourced ingredients, and the finest chicken and waffles you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Granted the wait is Odyssean, but believe me when I say that the hotcakes, carefully crafted crumble muffins, and applewood smoked bacon ARE WORTH IT. What I love about Clinton Street Bakery is the lack of trickery. They’re not trying to re-invent breakfast, they’re not trying to be a hero — their goal is simply to make the classics BETTER.