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Brunch at Arcane

I’ve been meaning to eat at Arcane (111 Avenue C at 7th St.) for some time, so I jumped at the chance to have brunch there.  Arcane is a French-Caribbean restaurant located in the old Bao 111 space.  It now sports a larger bar & a simpler seating arrangement.  $9.95 gets you coffee, OJ & a choice of a brunch cocktail.  It was around noon & luckily not that packed so we were seated immediately.

The brunch menu is a bit confusing as the dishes (all  but one dish eggs, served with salad & home potatoes) do not have a description.  Some are easier than others, but I ended up asking my friend who had been there before.

I ordered the Arcane Baked Eggs which I was really excited about, but was quickly disappointed.  The eggs were cooked all the way through (I like my yolk runny) & the cheese on top was a run of the mill cheddar which hardened really quickly making the dish pretty hard to eat.  I didn’t really touch the mixed green salad, but the home potatoes were really good.  I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting (most likely a dish more like Casimir’s Tunisian Eggs), but this was NOT to my liking.

My friend got the Caribbean Poached Eggs which was eggs, ham & pineapple served with a spicy hollandaise sauce.  He seemed to like it.

I wasn’t happy with what I ordered, but I’m not going to write Arcane off.  They have an excellent prix fixe & great daily specials.  I’m looking forward to trying the Rabbit in mustard sauce on Wednesday nights.
Arcane on Urbanspoon
Arcane in New York on Fooddigger

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Black Iron Burger

I’ll admit that I was very excited when Black Iron Burger (540 East 5th Street at Avenue B) moved into the hood last year, replacing the waste-of-space Bouche Bar.  They did a great job on the renovation & now the space has an open feel with seats at the bar, plenty of high tables & a banquet table in the back.

They have plenty of beers on tap, but my favorite is the Belfast Bay Lobster Ale.  Well, on to the burgers which is why we’re here, right?  When I first started coming here, I had a big problem with the burgers as they tended to be overcooked & a little on the bland side.  Luckily, they’ve sorted these teething issues out.  I normally go for a cheeseburger with Cheddar which is not bad at around $7.50.

Some people opt for sauteed onions & other frills, but I like my burger ‘naked’, but obviously lettuce & tomatoes are available.  The sesame buns are always nicely toasted which is a major plus.  They also have a Black & Blue Burger which has Cajun blackening seasoning & blue cheese, I really like this one.  The fries here are good as are the homemade onion rings, but the real gem are the shakes which are made to order with an old school milkshake machine.

All in all, it’s a decent burger, but my loyalty still lies with Royale.  I still do (& will continue) visit Black Iron from time to time.
Black Iron Burger Shop on Urbanspoon
Black Iron Burger Shop in New York on Fooddigger

Zum Schneider

Zum Schneider (107 Avenue C @ 7th Street) is a Bavarian beer garden (although indoors) that seems perfectly suited for spring and summer.  The open, cavernous interior with smooth tree-like walls & foliage gives a great biergarten feel, but the outdoor seating is really what I love.  Whenever the weather heats up, the place gets packed to the brim with beer & hearty food enthusiasts.  They have over a dozen beers on tap (& others in seasonal rotation) that come in three sizes; Large, Extra-large (pictured to the right in the foreground) & F*cking insane.  Trust me, I ordered the latter once & could barely lift the damn thing let alone finish it!  I felt like a little kid with a sippy cup.

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Brunch at Sunburnt Cow

I checked out Sunburnt Cow (137 Avenue C between 8th & 9th streets) on a recent weekend for their awesome endless brunch.  $18 gets you a brunch item & unlimited brunch drinks or Fosters or Greyhounds.  The place is normally pretty packed, as this is one of the best brunch deals in the ‘hood.  We were able to snag a seat in the front.

I was pounding mimosas like it was going out of style & our waiter really was on the top of his game; my glass was never empty.  I ended up ordering the Barrier Reef Benedict; poached eggs on top of crab cakes with hollandaise, salad & fries.  The portions were really large & I really enjoyed the crab cake which was nice & flaky.  I thought that it needed a lot more acidity & wound up putting a lot of lemon on my dish.  The fries were fine & I really didn’t touch my salad.

As I said before, the place can get really, really packed which might be as turn-off for some people, but the service, food (in particular portion size) & price makes the Sunburnt Cow a viable brunch option.

I’ve eaten there for dinner several times as well.  I particularly like the burger which comes fully loaded with beets, bacon, pinapple, egg & more, not for the faint of heart!  The menu features some nice game options such as mutton, boar & kangaroo.  Next time I go back, I’ll review the dinner in full.

The Cow crew also own Bondi Road downtown on Rivington & the Sunburnt Calf on 79th street.  Check them out!

Sunburnt Cow on Urbanspoon

Sunburnt Cow in New York on Fooddigger

Frank

I’ve been going to Frank (88 2nd Avenue between 6th & 5th Streets) for some time now, but I’ve never gotten around to blogging the restaurant.  On a warm afternoon I returned with a few friends & my camera in tow.

We sat by the bar & began by ordering some Antipasto; Olives with oil, spices & orange zest, hearty bread, sausage & Parmesan & then the main plate. Roasted tomatoes, fried eggplant, roasted peppers, goat cheese wrapped in zucchini.  This has been my go to dish at Frank for as long as I can remember, particularly on the warmer days.  The only things that were missing was the Calamari Salad (not ready yet) & the Mozzarella di Bufala (which was amazing but they no longer make).

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Frying Pan

I got a chance to check out Frying Pan (26th Street & Hudson River Park) the Lightship of the same name & sprawling barge Bar & Restaurant a few weeks ago.  It was well worth the wait; a sunny but not too hot mid-April Friday afternoon & luckily the place was no too busy (something that I can imagine will change drastically once the weather warms up).
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