For my birthday earlier this year, my lovely grad school friends organized a brunch for me by Kitchensurfing's Alex, aka The Breakfast Bachelor. Our group of 10, including three kids under the age of four, have been relying on Kitchensurfing for our last couple of get-togethers. First was with Clare, and the second with Kate.
Michele (who recently wrote a post with some great tips), arranged the brunch and worked out the menu with Alex.
Alex arrived at 10:30AM on a Saturday and started getting everything prepped. First up, making maple candied bacon.
Then, cooking up the pan-fried brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes.
The complete menu:
- Balsamic pear salad with arugula and piave
- Maple candied bacon
- Pan-fried brussels with sweet potatoes on toast, with a poached egg and smoked paprika hollandaise
- Vanilla bourbon mini doughnuts
Alex had everything ready for us to sit down and eat at 11:30AM. Service with a smile!
Of course, we had a nice assortment of teas to go with our meal.
Two heaping platefuls of the balsamic pear salad was a great balance to the...
brussels sprouts with sweet potatoes on toast with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Everything was excellent, and of course, the bacon was a hit as we were fighting for the extra pieces.
Here we are getting ready to dig in.
While we were enjoying the meal, Alex was busy in the kitchen making our dessert, mini doughnuts! We were pretty full before the doughnuts arrived (and Alex had made A LOT), but wouldn't you know it, they were all gone within a few minutes.
A big thanks to my friends for an amazing birthday brunch! And thanks to Alex for such a wonderful meal!
I will admit that everything I like, I say is my favorite. Hojicha tea? My favorite! Genmaicha? My favorite! Rooibos? My favorite! You get the point.
Walking around the West Village a couple of weeks ago, I stopped by a cute little dress shop on Christopher Street. The shop is Albertine, and a lovely, warm scent greeted me as soon as I walked in. It was so alluring I inquired and found out it's a balsam scented candle from Soap and Paper Factory. Since they sell it at the shop, I got one and now, my apartment smells amazing. This balsam candle is my favorite.
This tea sandwich is a mini version of what I usually have for breakfast most days of the week — avocado toast with an egg.
A few notes:
- I like my eggs to be a little runny so I boiled them for exactly 2 minutes and 30 seconds. For a firm yolk, boil them for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Use a timer.
- Have a bowl with cold water ready to chill the eggs right after boiling.
- Create indents in the avocado to make sure the eggs don't slide off. They're pretty slippery.
- To make it a little easier to place the eggs on top of the avocado, slide them into four pieces and spread them out.
TEA SANDWICH: AVOCADO & QUAIL EGG
Focaccia cut into squares, then cut in half lengthwise
Salt (I love Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.)
1. Boil quail eggs for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Put eggs in cold water to chill. Peel.
2. Combine smashed avocado, olive oil, salt, pepper & lemon juice into a bowl.
3. Spread a layer of the avocado mix onto a focaccia.
4. Place a sliced quail egg on top & sprinkle with chopped chives. Enjoy!
See All Tea Sandwiches
Sitting outside the restaurant is their London Cab, complete with an adorable puppy.
With just 23 seats, the place is tiny, but cute, in a quaint and your grandmother's kitchen sort of way. No frills, as evidenced by the floral plastic tablecloths and mismatched teaware, but really, it adds to the charm.
Very friendly and attentive, and not at all intrusive.
TEA & TEA SELECTION:
The tea section of the menu shows a mix of teas and it's not broken down by type, which makes it a bit overwhelming. They have three teas specifically named after their restaurant, an Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and a Rosie Lee, a blend of the two. I got the Rosie Lee, which was robust enough for me to have with some milk and sugar. I liked it.
Ok, I'm going to start off by saying that their Afternoon Tea, for One, is HUGE. You basically get THREE WHOLE SANDWICHES. That's a meal on it's own aside from the scones and the sweets. We selected three sandwiches each, and each came as 3-4 finger sandwiches. I would recommend getting just one afternoon tea and split it between two people and just order another pot of tea. There was so much food left over.
Back to the tea sandwiches, they were basic, but solid. The turkey with cream cheese sandwich was cold, which makes me think that one was pre-made and refrigerated. The others were freshly made.
Two per person, and they were fairly basic, but good. The highlights were the rich and creamy clotted cream and the not-too-sweet strawberry jam.
You want cake? Oh, you're getting cake. No dainty two-bite sweets are found here. Giant slabs of Victoria sponge, banana chocolate walnut, upside down pineapple, and a sticky toffee cupcake to mix it up a bit. Too bad I didn't love them.
Good for a casual afternoon tea in a cozy setting.
Note: They won't seat you until your entire party is there. No waiting inside the restaurant either, but that's understandable since the place is tiny.
LOCATION: Tea & Sympathy | 108 Greenwich Avenue btw. 12th St. & Jane St. | New York, NY 10011 | 212.989.9735
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Monday - Friday during lunch hours, starting at 11:30AM
COST: $36 (Afternoon Tea, for One)