House of Small Wonder
77 N 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Attention fellow friends who love cute little non-traditional brunch places: I have found your next brunch spot. It’s just off the L train in Williamsburg. House of Small Wonder is a pseudo European cafe with Japanese influences. You all know my opinion of eggs bennies and scrambled eggs (rarely worth the trek out for brunch unless you’re Prune) and my deep love affair with Japanese brunches (see Sakamai and Shabu Tatsu). House of Small Wonder is another Japanese inspired brunch place to add to the list. Its menu consists of both “euro” items like sandwiches (e.g. fig+brie+apple sandwich, salumi arugula sandwich), croissant french toasts, and croque madames, as well as Japanese inspired dishes like Okinawan taco rice, tsukune don (meatball + rice), and sashimi zuke don (sashimi + rice).
It’s decor is also the cutest! You basically enter a little greenhouse with a REAL LIVING TREE in the center of the restaurant. Every wooden surface, faded piece of art, pot of plant, and trendy diner (see B.J. in this one) is Instagram worthy. K.C., B.J., R.Y., and I got to the restaurant before it even opened (10am on weekends) to ensure we got in without a wait.
We each started with the Lavender Latte ($5). This is one deliciously smooth, creamy, latte with a hint of lavender. It has just the right amount of sweetness to feel like a real latte and not a dessert. I give it 10 out of 10 points for warming me physically and emotionally (lots of feelings were expressed at this brunch <3). For those looking for more of a boozy brunch experience, they also offer a cocktail list with concoctions such as fizzy pear, lavender lemonade, and tipsy latte. K.C., B.Y., R.Y. – next time we do boozy?
K.C. and I both ordered the Sashimi Zuke Don ($15), which consisted of soy sauce marinated sashimi of the day, avocado, sweet mushrooms, sesame, and egg served over sushi rice. The ratio of toppings to rice was perfect. Every bite was like a perfect bite of sushi really. The quality of fish was solid (not the highest grade but also zero fishiness). The rice was great. Highly recommend. Continue reading
380 Lafayette St. (between 4th and Great Jones St.)
New York, NY 10003
Pardon my absence, but I’ve been super busy on the receiving end and giving end of what I have come to hate with a passion: the flu. I definitely remember a time when the flu was just a minor annoyance that actually came with tremendous benefits, such as missing school and being taken care of. The pains from the flu have gotten exponentially worse as I’ve aged. Yes, I would much rather go to work than feel like a train ran over my body and a thousand samurais lived in my throat.
Anyway, after more than 30 hours of sleep over three days and over 30 cups of water, I am now well enough to blog for you. You’re welcome!
M.B., Y.N., L.S and I recently got brunch at Lafayette, a very New York style French restaurant, reminding me of Balthazar. I’m going to say upfront that my experience at Lafayette was also very similar to Balthazar: mediocre food in a nice, bustling, classic New York feeling restaurant. M.B. and I got orange and grapefruit juices to vitamin C up our morning before our meal.
After at least 15 minutes perusing the menu, Y.N. and I both finally settled on the Smoked Salmon Benedict on Brioche with Sauce Choron ($21). I really actually wanted the breakfast sandwich but it was a $16 breakfast sandwich that I know wouldn’t have been as good as a Sausage Egg McMuffin. So I decided to at least get something worth a bit more, like smoked salmon. Continue reading
80 Spring St
(between Crosby St & Broadway)
New York, NY 10012
The first time I came to NYC as an “adult,” I was a college sophomore rebelliously skipping Friday classes to make the 5-hour trek to the big city. The only meal I distinctly remember having was at Balthazar. We went for dinner and I remember it feeling super NYC… busy, trendy, with a hint of stuffiness. I hadn’t returned since…until Y.N. invited me to join her and L.N. for brunch. LAW and I decided to go for the bread (they have a bakery next door known for its baguettes) and for the company, of course.
Y.N. read my mind and asked if we could share the bread basket ($21.00). L.N. was on the same page and had apparently already asked for a bread basket… on the house. L.N. manages a number of restaurants in NYC, including Dos Caminos (which I need to check out), so he has the hook-ups. For a bakery that supplies so much bread to numerous restaurants and cafes in Manhattan, I expected more from Balthazar’s bread basket. It wasn’t bad. The croissant was buttery and light. The pecan sticky bun was fresh and properly glazed. The golden raisin walnut bread was dense and flavorful. But nothing stood out… the breads weren’t particularly moist, chewy, soft, or crusty. The bread wasn’t hot or cold. It was room temperature. Really nothing to write home about. Continue reading
Perfect to grill your croissants when they are getting a little stale…