I’ve shared so many photos and stories about brunch on this blog, I’m surprised I haven’t done a roundup of any sort. Until now, that is. I’m not exactly an expert, but I do dine out for brunch pretty much every weekend that I’m in Manhattan on one if not both days, and I’ve been doing so since law school. It’s how I socialize with friends and family alike, and I think that paired with a lovely long run it makes for the perfect Saturday or Sunday. So today is all about four spots that I think have some of the best eggs on the Upper East Side, key to any gluten free girl’s brunch and really a great way to judge a restaurant.
My favorite location (and I think one of the originals) of the Sarabeth’s empire in the city and beyond, the Upper East Side location is cozy and homey and always has a wait to match its reputation. I came here when I was younger for birthdays and other special occasions, and still enjoy it now. I’m also willing to branch out at the West Side, Central Park South, and Park Avenue South locations when the need arises! Even though Sarabeth’s is famous for its sweet breakfasts like pancakes and waffles, its homemade jam, and all the scones and muffins you can imagine, the menu of eggs is extensive. My favorites include the spinach and goat cheese omelet, literally stuffed like a pillow with an entire log of goat cheese, and the farmer’s omelet with gruyere, ham, leeks, and little diced potatoes.
I don’t always have time to wait around for an hour on weekends when no reservations are taken between 8:30am-4:30pm, but lucked out during the recent blizzard. We showed up around 10:30am and it was nearly empty, of course, because very few were willing to brave the trek as we were. It was totally worth it. That time around, I paired my omelet with the amazing chicken apple sausage and apple butter, also highly recommended.
One of my little tricks with Sarabeth’s is to check out the wait time for a weekend brunch, and if it’s too long, head across the street to Pascalou, a lovely French bistro with a menu I love for both brunch and dinner. They take reservations, worth making for weekend evenings when I might go for their amazing pomodoro and goat cheese veggie “pasta” perfect for anyone with allergies. But the brunch prix fixe menu is a great price and you can usually snag a table without having to plan on OpenTable! I’ve been a few times recently, and each plate of eggs I ordered was as delicious as the last. A smoked salmon and scrambled combination; a gruyere, mushroom, and ham omelet; and a tomato and goat cheese with ratatouille. You can also sort of see that when I was there the time before last, my friend Katie ordered what I had to check out this past weekend.
Moving from Carnegie Hill closer to where I call home in Yorkville and from white tablecloths to diner delights, the first of my two favorites in the latter category is the Green Kitchen, which I’ve probably name-dropped more than any other restaurant. It’s a classic diner with one of those never-ending menus, but the eggs can all be found on the inside of the front cover with other breakfast dishes, and in my humble opinion one need look no further than that. My favorites include a few omelets, like the lox and onion or the mushroom, broccoli and Swiss.
Also good is the Energy Breakfast, an omelet loaded with grilled chicken and lots of veggies and served with broccoli or berries on the side instead of home fries. And when it’s the weekend, the brunch menu features giant frittatas, like this one with turkey, feta, and tomatoes, with roasted red potatoes as an accompaniment.
Last but not least is EJ’s, just down the street and always crowded on weekend mornings. It’s classic and cash only and keeps neighborhood residents in its grasp with both blue plate specials and organic and gluten free fare. My go-to is the Health Kick omelet with tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh basil and feta, and a side of sweet potato fries. I also enjoy the garden vegetable frittata with the same, and lots of the large, fresh salads. Plus, they have gluten free bread so you can get any sandwich you like if an allergy is also your issue, and they make gluten free pancakes and waffles too.
And there you have it, four of my favorite spots for brunch on the Upper East Side and a pretty impressive assortment of eggs. I eat eggs at least once a day during the week, what with my habit of making a frittata to slice and bring to work as breakfast or lunch, but I never tire of them when the weekend rolls around. Besides, give me eggs and sweet potato fries and I’ll never turn them down…
Best brunch spot in your neighborhood?
When you’re out for breakfast, do you go sweet or savory?
What’s your favorite egg dish?
© 2016 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.