People-Watching over Brunch at Punch Restaurant
New York, NY 10010
(212) 673-6333 | Online Reservations | Map
Truth be told, people-watching is one of my favorite activities to do in New York. The rewards gained from people-watching are that much sweeter when you can do it while out for weekend brunch with your girlfriends, sitting at a table by the window or out on the sidewalk and sipping breakfast cocktails. I got to do just that when I met up with friends at Punch Restaurant to take advantage of their brunch special (choice of brunch entrée with coffee or tea and Bloody Mary or mimosa or tap beer, freshly baked muffins, and house-made preserves for $18.95).
I generally don't need anything more than a cup of hot coffee to tide me over during brunch until my food comes out of the kitchen, but snacking on fresh muffins made the occasion a little more special. The muffins were moist and sweet and had all of us looking forward to the main event.
I ordered the Spicy Chorizo Fresco Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes and Sunnyside Eggs. The eggs were cooked perfectly... so perfectly that I didn't want to ruin the beautiful presentation by popping the yolks. But, I couldn't let the eggs get cold, so I jabbed the middle of the yolks with my fork and went to town. Mopping up the yolk with the potatoes and chorizo, getting all of the components on the fork at the same time, really helped to bring out the smokiness from the meat. Simple and hearty!
Candice ordered the Aged Cheddar Grits, Fried Eggs, Smoked Bacon, and Maple Sausage and graciously shared some of her bacon with me. (She knows how much I love my bacon at brunch!) Of everything on the plate, I think the bacon was the most exciting part of the meal. Sure, Candice's eggs were cooked just as well as mine, but everything else fell a little short on flavor. We were expected a more pronounced cheddar flavor in the grits but could really only taste the butter.
Rounding out the trio of brunch dishes was Wendi's pick -- the Open-Faced Apple-Swiss Omelet with Arugula Salad, Cranberries, and Walnuts. I opted against tasting Wendi's food because of the cranberries on the plate (I'm allergic to cranberries), but it looked delicious! I was especially intrigued by the idea of an "open-faced omelet" but was disappointed to find out that "open-faced omelet" was just a fancy way of saying "a scrambled egg basket with apples and cheese in the middle." Points for creative marketing, though.
If you're looking for a restaurant that offers a brunch special that's not centered around unlimited mimosas (hey, it could happen), then head down to Punch Restaurant in the Flatiron District and request a table by the window. Do some people-watching while you're at it.
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