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.

La Churreria

From the team who brought us Soccarat has just arrived a little gem called La Churreria right next door to their Mulberry Street location. It opened on December 30 and it’s a good thing I got there when I did because I think lines down the block may be coming.

The main attraction at La Churreria is, unsurprisingly, churros with hot, semisweet chocolate. They also make pretty good coffee (including the Spanish staple and rare New York find, a Cafe Cortado, which, for the uninitiated, is an espresso cut with a little bit of milk) and a range of sandwiches. The menu boasts a few egg dishes and Spanish tortilla as well, but these were unavailable the day I stopped in.

The space is pretty tiny, with a small bar up front where you can order take out, 6 high top tables with stools and a banquette and a very cool black and white mosaic featuring custom made tiles with the restaurant’s C logo.

Hopefully it will stay under the radar long enough that I’ll be able to go back. (Oops, maybe that means I shouldn’t be blogging about it….)

In the meantime though, here’s being excited that another Spanish place has popped up in Manhattan.

Vital Statistics:
Location: 284 Mulberry, just south of Houston
Subway: B, D, F, M to Broadway-Lafayette or 6 to Bleecker St
Website: www.lachurrerianyc.com
Prices: churros and chocolate from about $10, sandwiches $7-9