Monday, January 9, 2012
When we’re in New York one of our favorite things to do is go out for brunch. And by brunch, I mean eating breakfast a little later than usual. And by breakfast I mean things like eggs, pancakes, porridge and other breakfasty things.
Back in Rome there has been a flurry of restaurants offering ‘brunch.’ At first I was really excited and gladly perused all the lists of places where I thought we could go out to have eggs Benedict or even a stack of pancakes. No such luck. As it turns out Roman restauranteurs have co-opted the word ‘brunch’ to mean ‘uninspiring buffet served on Sundays at lunch time for a fixed fee. Almost always featuring some form of inexpensive starch-based salad including couscous, rice and/or some trendy grain like farro.’
No thank you.
On our last morning in New York we got a brunch so good that it will hopefully satisfy our brunchy cravings for at least a few weeks now that we are back in Rome. Peels is just the type of place I wish some one would open in Rome. Located on the ever more gentrified Bowery, the restaurant is set on two floors and feels more like a country Inn than New York diner.
The place is open all day long , and the menu rotates all the way from early morning pastries to late night cocktails. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s the biscuits that are the thing.
Big, fluffy, buttery buttermilk biscuits. They have a item called ‘build your own biscuit’ where you can order just about any combo of eggs and cured meat to stuff inside. My niece Scarlett chose classic eggs and bacon and was very happy. Even though she had a hard time wrapping her little mouth around the 4 inch high pile, she managed to make all gone.
Domenico, my brother-in-law Phil and I went straight for the hard core biscuits with poached eggs and sausage gravy. Yes. I said sausage gravy.
Our table also managed such classics as buttermilk flapjacks and farmer’s breakfast. Of course my sister Robin tried to stay healthy and ordered granola which - with gooey fruit compote at the bottom and rich labne yogurt on top - was as satisfying as any of our more gluttonous choices.
Back in Rome, now embarked on the annual January ‘eat less’ mode, I guess I’m glad there is no Peels tempting me out for a Sunday morning brunchy blow out.