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Archive for the ‘les (lower east side)’ Category

Backlog: Summer Brunch  

For some reason, I always forget what this place is called and inevitably, I’ve been referring to it as “Tiny” Giant for the past 8 months or so.  Taken from their website- they can sum it up best and they do live up to their standards:

Our food is “Seasonal American” (which means we use fresh market produce that isn’t the same week to week.) It also means homemade sausages in the winter, juicy heirloom tomatoes in the summer and the best buttermilk chive biscuits every day of the year.

We serve refined comfort food – upscale riffs on homespun standards.

In some ways, this place totally reminds me of my brunch at Brown.  All this organic food gives me an image of a hearty farmer’s breakfast with produce from the farm, eluding a rustic feel/look to it.  And the wood panels Little Giant serves food on doesn’t exactly sway my thoughts another way either.

orange trim opening 
the outside

rustic bfast
trucker’s breakfast

Think of this as an open breakfast sandwich.  It’s a grilled piece of texas toast, with tomatoes, bacon, andouille sausage [that I gave to McTwinkle], scrambled eggs, sautéed cremini mushrooms & tomato gravy [read: tomato juices] with a side of homemade molasses baked beans [read: my favorite part].

poached eggs, pancake
 biscuit & gravy

Buttermilk-chive biscuit that looks like a hash brown from the picture, poached eggs, black forest ham, and garlic-herb gravy with a side of greens

sammie
duck club

The beauty of brunch is that you can have breakfast or lunch and McTwinkle’s eating lunch.  The savory duck club with duck confit, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, and herb mayo.  There were terra chips on the side.

more poached eggs 
pig in a poke

Two poached eggs swimming in a crock of creamed grits with floating andouille sausage with toast and greens on the side

 

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I love that the LES is such a booming place for bars and restaurants now because all these places are much closer to me!  It speaks volumes to my lazy ass.  However, it may not be doing as well for the ever expanding waistline of mine.  My friend from down the block and I walked a whole 10 minutes to Brown, which is the restaurant part of Green Brown Orange.  The Green is the catering facility and the Orange is the epicerie for private dining events.  Brown is a tiny place, with a few tables outside, and two long tables inside with two window booths [one to the left and right of the door].  It was hot the day we went but they didn’t turn on the AC, so it was steaming instead, especially with the sun beating down my back.  But I love summer days, so I can’t complain too much. 

brown outside
the dinky outside – looks kinda rustic doesn’t it?

brown inside
the tiny restaurant quarters inside

Aside from the forced coziness of the place, the food was fantastic.  Everything was organic and delicious.  I especially enjoyed the presentation.  It all seems very rustic, with the huge piece of bread and the pile of greens.  I ordered the baked eggs with roasted tomatoes, asparagus, and a huge slice of manchego cheese with roasted potatoes and onion and mixed greens on the side.  Just looking at the iron skillet/pan makes my mouth water- not to mention that it’s 45 mins away from lunch for me.  The reason why I’m intrigued with the baked eggs is that it’s like a sunny side omelet.  You get all the goodies associated with the omelet, but you also get the gushy egg yoke!  I carved out pieces of the baked eggs and made little sandwich bites atop the bread with the greens. 

baked eggs

eggs close up

sausage
i believe this is a side of the wild boar sausage that my friend ordered

finished
all done =X

As you can see from the last picture, I was a beast with my breakfast.  It’s rarely the case when I completely clean off my plate[s].  My friends tell me that it’s very un-Chinese of me to not clean my plates, but sometimes, I just can’t help it.  I think this last picture speaks for itself.  Brown is a lick-the-last-remnants-off-a-burning-skillet type brunch place.  ;D

 

Happy Eating.

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Les Enfants Terribles serves up French-African cuisine, but I’m usually there just for the brunch since it’s situated between my neck of the City and Chinatown.  I’ve been here countless times since it’s opened and have never been disappointed with their brunch food.  Though, I have to say, I only recommend this place for brunch.  I’ve had dinner here once and it wasn’t enjoyable.  I ordered the duck confit, and it had a really jelly like consistency [too much fat I’m assuming].  Also, at night, they dim the lights down so low that I couldn’t even see my food. 

The original plan was to go to an all-you-can-drink brunch in Greenwich, but decided that if we were going to be hitting up wine tastings all day, we probably shouldn’t start the day off by getting completely smashed- since most of us drank a ton of wine just the night before.

While the space inside Les Enfants Terribles is small, the restaurant managed to fit a bar, which is where most of the action takes place every night.  Since the space is small, the seating is cramped, which would normally be very bothersome, but there’s generally no fights for space during brunch hours.  There are also a few tables outdoors.  It seems that they’ve taken a few tables that belonged to the school a few blocks away and incorporated them into their outside decor.  There’s even a little chalkboard indicating the day’s specials.  Thus, the outside decor gives off a very banishing kids from the classroom to sit in the halls to figure out what they’ve done wrong vibe, which fits with the restaurant’s name. 

les enfants terribles, outside
the floor to ceiling windows behind the school desk-chairs open up during nice weather

While they don’t offer any spectacular dishes, they have a good variety of choices for brunch.  One can perhaps find better versions of everything they serve here at other restaurants around Manhattan, but that’s just too much trouble.  I like it here for the cozy neighborhoody setting and consistently good food, which is what always draws me back.  Speaking of which, I’m offically back to my eggs benedict and salmon thing.  I got the eggs benedict norwegian, which comes with  ::drum roll:: salmon!  The salmon I believe was cured; it had a good flavor- nothing special or unsalmony about it.  I noticed they’ve changed their hollandaise sauce- it’s orange, not yellow like it used to be- or maybe there’s just too much cayenne [if they even used that – I didn’t taste it].  Anyways, the eggs benedict came with a side of fries and mesclun salad, with a light olive oil based dressing.  Another reason why I love coming here is because their fries are always soo crunchy.. except for today!  Mine were half crunchy, half soggy, but Phil’s were really crisp, so I just stole his.     

eggs benedict eggs benedict

The quiche special of the day was duck and that is what Rich ordered.  I enjoyed the flakiness of the crust and the cheesiness of the quiche, but the duck itself was a bit too hard for me.  I think it baked too long and the meat started to shrivel up into Chinese sausage like consistency, so I wasn’t too pleased with it.   

quiche

Phil got the equivalent to a philly cheese steak.  Under the mountain of gooey cheesiness, there were strips of steak and caramelized onions.  Can you see from the picture how wonderfully golden and crunchy his fries look??  Since he sat right accross from me, I had easy access to his fries.  Phil didn’t like the onions too much though, so Rich and I fought for them.  They were so sweet [maybe just a touch too sweet] and juicy, which is the only way I like my onions.  I didn’t get to try the meat so I cannot comment on that but Rich and Phil both gave it their thumbs up.  In fact, Caled ordered it two weeks later for himself.

steak

 Caled got the duck leg confit, which came with fries and bacon salad.  The duck leg was braised in herbs, which I haven’t seen before.  I was surprised that this dish would have a more spruced up salad than the others.  I don’t know why they would choose to put bacon in this salad, but I certainly wouldn’t complain becuase I love bacon.  Rich ordered this two weeks later and they both gave it their approval. 

duck leg

While Les Enfants Terribles may not serve the best of everything, they have a unique selection for brunch and can satisfy almost any palate.  There are veggie options and regular eggs and bacon! 

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