Jack’s Wife Freda

I recently stopped in to Jack’s Wife Freda on a Saturday for brunch after reading about it on Tasting Table. It’s a small storefront right next to Osteria Morini and up the block from La Esquina on Lafayette between Kenmare and Spring. The bright white-washed interior features a long communal table down the middle flanked by smaller ones along banquettes and a few seats at the marble bar at the back overlooking the pastries.

The brunch menu includes a smattering of those sweets – croissants, chocolate twists, corn muffins – a range of egg dishes and what looks like standard brunch fare and some incentive sandwiches. Upon closer inspection the standard bit reveals its quirky side – the poached eggs are served with roast tomatoes and haloumi cheese while the eggs shashuka bathes them in a green soupy sauce of tomatillos, cumin and coriander.  Then there’s the grapefruit and yogurt – sounds pretty boring right? But in fact it’s a delicious mix of tart citrus with just a hint of mint, a generous dollop of thick Lebanese yogurt, honey and a sprinkling of granola.

On the drinks side the cantaloupe juice is pretty amazing – basically puréed melon. There’s no full bar so the boozers among you will be limited to mimosas, or beer/wine.

Verdict: a good neighborhood spot for a laid back meal.

Note to self:  next time try the rosewater waffles with Lebanese yogurt and berries.

Vital statistics:
Location: 224 Lafayette between Kenmare and Spring
Subway: 4, 5, 6 at Spring St
Website: jackswifefreda.com
Prices: Brunch mains from $9-13. Our bill for two came to about $20 each with tip.

Brunch @ Hundred Acres

Hundred Acres is not a new spot so it is rather distressing that I had not been before, but better late than never I suppose.

My friend Carrington suggested it for our official New York homecoming catch up brunch so a few weeks ago Saturday that’s where we met at 1:00 pm.

The first thing that caught my eye was actually the condiments on our table. Alongside the glass jar of sea salt was one with what looked like dirt. We were informed that it was in fact urfa pepper and it was black spicy and smokey smelling.

urfa & salt

We started with some coffee, to help perk us up and prepare us for the Bloody Marys that were on the way. Well, I had a Bloody on the way, Carrington opted for a mimosa and they also had some other yummy sounding cocktails including one with aperol, cucumber and grapefruit.

you had me at shucked oyster

I have not always been a Bloody Mary fan but over the past couple years have developed my taste and am now a pretty faithful devotee. So it was very exciting to see that Hundred Acres had not one, not two, but four different kinds on their menu. Obviously I ordered the Hampton Shore Mary which came with an oyster on top.

Then, the challenge was deciding what to eat. We agreed to share a bunch of dishes, a few small and one main (I have trouble maintaining friendships with people who are not into sharing).

We settled on melt in your mouth pork tater tots served with pickled peppers; pork meatballs that arrived bathed in a spicy tomato sauce atop a soggy piece of bread with queso fresco; super light and fluffy ricotta fritters with just-the-right-sweet syrup; and breakfast sausage with poached eggs.

tots (don't put these in your pocket)

balls & fritters

We were seriously full and very satisfied by the time we left.

Restaurant notes: there is a cute garden space, glassed over in winter, and a nice long bar, which I consider an absolute necessity for any restaurant – where else are you going to wait for your date or eat alone and not feel awkward taking up a whole table?  Service was ok – a little slow at times, but it was peak weekend brunch time so I can’t complain too much.

the dining room

Vital Statsitics:
Location: 38 MacDougal Street between Prince Street and Houston Street
Subway: A, C, E to Spring Street or the 1, 2 to Houston
Website: http://hundredacresnyc.com
Prices: Brunch mains run about $15-18 each.  Our bill was $45 each for food, 1 cocktail apiece and tip.