Bar Almond Brunch

Last month I was in the City to catch up with gal pals and do some Bitch business. However, I came down with a killer illness (later determined to be pneumonia), and ended up curling up on the couch for the entire weekend. So much so, I did not emerge from Lindsey’s Midtown apartment until Sunday for brunch.

With achey legs, a runny nose, and a sad disposition, I wobbled to Bar Almond for brunch with Lindsey, Lacy, and Danielle—all regular Bitches—and my friend Ben.

We waited for a very long time for a table, despite the enormous size of the restaurant. So many humans in New York, my friends.

Finally, we were seated in a dark back booth of the lively restaurant and ordered our drinks after what seemed like an eternity.

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Coffee, orange juice, and water for this sick kid. The coffee was hot, fresh, and decently strong, but nothing to write home about—certainly nothing more exemplary than diner coffee.

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Bar Almond serves up complimentary mini Southern-style biscuits, served hot, moist, and flaky with room temperature butter. The brunch menu has a good selection.

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Lacy, Lindsey, and I all ordered the side of fruit, which was a very good deal for the price. Enormous and fresh, the bowl of fruit was filled with sliced mangos, kiwis and apples, topped with pomegranate seeds and orange rounds. The dish in itself was large and filling. As we’re all snotty Bitches about fruit, Bar Almond receives bonus points for this dish.

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Ben, the lone male at the table and the newest New York Bro Who Brunches, was present for the company and the Bloody Marys, which he described as “decent” and nothing more.

Lacy, a regular Bitch at the table for brunches from Richmond to Washington and now New York, has proudly taken on the mantle of official Eggs Benny sampler at my brunches.

“The fruit was the best I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Lots of mango, which was delish. Also a very generous portion,” she said. And, added: “I remember the eggs Benny being good, but not great, honestly. I also thought we had B service at best—he sort of abandoned us.”

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Meanwhile, I opted for “another kind of Benedict,” as written on the menu, with a smoked salmon variation. The English muffin was lightly toasted, the eggs properly poached, the Hollandaise light, and the capers on top a pleasant surprise.

Lindsey opted for the huevos rancheros, with red and green chilis and refried black beans, and served with a side of roasted potatoes. “The Huevos Rancheros at Bar Almond were everything you’d expect out of this traditional dish,” she says. “You can’t go wrong with well-seasoned black beans topped with corn tortilla’s and fried eggs. The combination of the red and green chili sauces over the top gave the dish a nice touch of flavor and kick as well. ”

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As for the service, I believe the waiter may have thought he was brunching with, rather than serving, the Bitches. He spent quite a bit of time lingering and chatting, but then suddenly abandoned us for a long stretch of time. It seemed like hours before he took our order and even longer before he brought the bill. Our coffee mugs and water glasses were regularly empty.

Bro-Who-Brunches Ben, a man of good looks and few words, summarizes: “Service was inattentive and too chatty. Food was edible. No further superlatives need apply. Bloody was decent. Dining companions were sublime.”

And there you have it. We’d expect more culinary chops from the Big City but it’s hard to complain when you’re well fed and surrounded by good people.

The Bitches say: C+ Reliable, affordable, and a large enough restaurant to seat large parties. Food was average, service was confused, ambiance was lively.

Bar Almond
12 East 22nd St.
New York, NY
(Flatiron District)
(212) 228-7557

Bar Almond serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.

Almond on Urbanspoon

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