Monday, February 15, 2010

let's do brunch: yerba buena perry

It must seem like all I do is overindulge in rich food, but people, I don't actually eat like this all the time! Most days, all I have are salads, soup, yogurt and coffee. But I do live in one of the best cities to eat at in the world, and it would be a crime not to take advantage. I get plenty of exercise walking all over the city, climbing my 5-floor walkup, and sweating it out at Bikram Yoga so no need to be concerned about my health. I'm not going for death by foie gras/bone marrow/fatty duck, I promise.

So now that I've issued that disclaimer, I can tell you all about my girls Valentine's Day brunch at Yerba Buena on Perry Street. I'd read about the all-you-can-drink brunch at Yerba Buena in the East Village but couldn't get reservations so we ended up at Yerba Buena Perry instead. No unlimited booze here, unfortunately, though the cocktails were at least relatively cheap at $8. In any case, I wasn't in a boozing mood. I was way more interested in the food. The churros con chocolate ($8) immediately caught my eye among the starters since I've been craving for Dulcinea's churros con chocolate for ages.
While yummy, these still don't hold a candle to Dulcinea's version. I love the really thick, slightly bitter hot chocolate we have in the Philippines but I haven't found anything similar here. Since this was advertised as Mexican hot chocolate, I thought it would be closer to Philippines-style hot coco but no dice. Our friend Mitch, who's a pastry chef, said the churros reminded her of Disneyland churros. Not a great sign, I think.

The chunky guacamole with chipotle and queso fresco ($10) that Jenn ordered was a winner though. 
I loved that there were chunks of avocado in the guacamole, rather than it being just a thick paste. We had to ask for a second helping of tortilla chips. So good.

I was a bit peeved that the entrees took long to arrive. We were loaded up on guac and chips by the time our "real food" came. Jenn's Pan Dulce ($10) looked amazing but I was too full to try it. But how can you go wrong with a french brioche toast with grilled manchego cheese, maple syrup and fresh fruits anyway, right? Yum!

Mitch and I both ordered the Cachapa Benedict—sweet corn cake, asadero cheese, poached eggs, ham, yerba buena-aji amarillo hollandaise ($13). I wasn't too crazy about the sweetness of the corn cake because I felt like having a savory dish this day, but at any other time I would love the sweet-savory combo for sure. Overall I was still happy. Eggs Benedict for brunch is one of my most favorite things ever.

I'd recommend Yerba Buena Perry for a chatty girls brunch because the setting is so chic and they don't rush you through your meal. (It also didn't hurt that our waiter looked like a younger version of Djimon Hounsou!) I'd definitely do brunch at Yerba Buena again, though I want to try the boozy brunch at their East Village location next time. Oh New York and your weekend brunches ... love, love, love!

Yerba Buena is located at 1 Perry Street at Greenwich Avenue. Tel. (212) 620-0808

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