There’s nothing more satisfying than starting your weekend with a tough workout and rewarding yourself with a well-earned brunch. Although we were both slightly dreading the onslaught of burpees and push-ups that were inevitably coming our way with Greg James’ ultra-intense Sunday bootcamp at Equinox SoHo, my friend Jaime and I powered through and immediately started plotting where to dine at its conclusion.
We wandered aimlessly back towards our respective East Village apartments through Nolita and stumbled across Bread. I had previously been to Bread for a delicious dinner about a year ago and had fond memories of its warm bread basket, rich balsamic, and homemade pasta. I hadn’t heard anything about its brunch service, but was willing to give it a shot based on my positive prior dining experience.
Bread is nestled among the charming boutiques and cafes that line the intersection of Elizabeth and Spring streets. You can’t miss its bright red exterior and well-lit facade. The interior is tastefully decorated with edgy photographs, vintage light fixtures, and beautiful people, in typical Nolita fashion.
The restaurant was about half full at our 1 p.m. arrival and we were immediately seated near the front window. We had our choice between six different egg dishes, two savory entrees (steak & eggs or a kale and egg sandwich), and the classic sweet brunch trifecta: French toast, pancakes, or waffles. Jaime and I had both worked up an appetite and wanted to fuel our bodies with protein and veggies so we ordered off the egg menu and avoided excessive carbs. This is where we may have gone wrong, as Bread is known for well, their bread.
We opted for the brunch special, which is any egg dish with a juice and coffee or tea for $18. All of the egg dishes were priced at $14 alone so this seemed like a good deal with fresh juice and a cup of joe. Or iced soy latte in my case.
Jaime’s orange juice was freshly squeezed and refreshing. I went out on a limb and tried the watermelon juice, which was way too sweet for my liking. I could only muster a few sips of this syrupy beverage and then just stuck to coffee.
Our aloof waitress took our brunch order and disappeared for the rest of the meal. We relayed the rest of our requests (hot sauce, salt and pepper, even the check) to random busboys and bartenders, whoever happened to pass our table.
On a positive note, we didn’t have to wait very long until our entrees arrived. I ordered the four egg omelette, which comes with your choice of two veggies, meats, or cheeses. I bent the rules a bit and selected three fillings: spinach, asparagus, and goat cheese. To my pleasure, the hearty egg dish was overflowing with vegetables. One of my pet peeves is a skimpy omelette. However, the omelet was unfortunately quite bland. I practically never add salt to my meals, but this dish was begging for some seasoning. Even with a little S&P, this was nothing special. The best part of our entire collective meal was the crispy home fries on the side.
Jaime went with the poached eggs served with polenta, roasted tomatoes, and mushroom. I initially was jealous that she called dibs on this entree as it contains many of my favorite ingredients, until I took a bite. The dish was mushy, watery, and severely under seasoned like my omelette. The polenta drowned out the natural flavors of the eggs and vegetables. It was beautifully presented, but beauty was only skin deep for this menu item.
We both finished our plates, but only because we were starving from our morning bootcamp. By the time our place settings were cleared and we were obviously ready to pay our bill, our server still was nowhere to be found. After waiting about fifteen minutes, I finally brought our credit cards over to the bar to settle up. This apathetic service ultimately dropped our rating from a C/C- level to a resounding D.
The Bitches say: D. Although I loved Bread at dinnertime, our brunch dishes lacked flavor and imagination and the service was pretty much non-existent.
20 Spring St.
New York, NY
Bread serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at noon. Bread’s breakfast menu is available daily beginning at 9:30 a.m.