Pure commitment to how adorable this restaurant looked on Instagram drew me across the Williamsburg Bridge and to the front door of Loosie’s Cafe, sister restaurant to the acclaimed Loosie Rouge and Loosie’s Kitchen. I invited my friend Chelsea along for the brunch. It was to be a ‘so Brooklyn’ Sunday: a lengthy brunch at this quaint and colorful spot, followed by shopping and strolling on Bedford Avenue.
After almost walking past the unmarked alcove, I was a bit concerned our iPhones had steered us wrong. We spun around in circles looking for our destination and suddenly came across the cascading vine tunnel to our left that would lead us to the utterly charming spot that is Loosie’s Cafe.We felt like fairies as we followed the path to this hidden gem, and we were surprised that the gorgeous photos didn’t even do this pretty place justice.
We entered the greenhouse-like restaurant and were guided to our table by a frazzled but charming French host. Although it was prime brunch hour, the space was quiet and calm—unlike the brunches we often attend on the other side of the East River. We ordered a round of cocktails to liven up the experience. A Cajun Bloody Mary for Chelsea and a La Vita Rose for me. This lackluster cocktail was a flat, smoky mix of rosé, Aperol, Montenegro, Creme de Cassis, strawberry, and soda water. The vibrant color and garnish gave me high expectations for this drink, but the stale taste made me push the drink aside after one sip. To complement our cocktails, we ordered a Matcha latte and an almond milk latte, respectively.
Everything but the cocktail service in Loosie’s Cafe went in slow motion. Chelsea and I are used to the hustling, bustling of the City and just couldn’t get used to this relaxed, drawn-out demeanor. We ordered a French toast to start. After almost an hour, our lattes arrived followed by a slab of thick toast topped with vanilla yogurt, mint, and berries. We engulfed this sweet treat in record-breaking time. I’m typically a strictly savory breakfast Bitch, but I was so hungry and this dish was SO tasty; it was simply irresistible.
If there’s any sort of grain bowl on the menu I order it. I did just that at Loosie’s Cafe. This vibrant version came packed with an organic quinoa base, purple kale, and beets. Shiitake and king oyster mushrooms added an interesting touch of flavor I’d never tasted in my days as a grain bowl connoisseur. A perfectly poached soft egg and impeccably light cucumber raita added a hint of delectable dimension to my bowl. The only downside, this dish simply had too many layers of lukewarm fixings rather than the incredible mix of hot and cold ingredients typically in a grain bowl.
Chelsea had to have the Norwegian eggs as they came atop homemade buttermilk biscuits—um, YUM. Hollandaise and Cajun smoked salmon added the Loosie’s kick to this twist on traditional eggs Benny. With nothing but great things to say about the flavors, Chelsea was also disappointed by the cool temperature of her meal. Something to do with the fact that the service was incredibly slow? Must have been because the chef was sure doing everything right.
After hours of chatting and fawning over the detailed decor, we were ready to walk off our meals in hip Williamsburg. At that moment, we were greeted by the sweetest Frenchman who we assumed was the cafe’s owner. Just as he was heading out for his run, it hit him that we hadn’t tried Loosie’s signature Nutella beignets. He simply wouldn’t let us leave without them. We’d seen a few tables order this pyramid-shaped dessert and instantly sat back down to enjoy it.
Boy, was it worth it. Chelsea, being a New Orleans native, noted that while these aren’t traditional beignets, Loosie’s bite-sized version injected with Nutella definitely deserved five stars. Served with a side of homemade whipped cream, these little puffs of heaven are a must-order at Loosie’s Cafe. We definitely experienced a few highs and lows throughout our afternoon in this Williamsburg gem. Loosie’s flavors are top notch, but the snail-like service hindered what could have been an incredible meal.
The Bitches say: Four flutes. Loosie’s Cafe offers hit-or-miss menu items with spotty service. This bungalow nestled back from the busy streets is, however, full of the charm and soul expected of this borough.
Loosie’s Cafe serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.