Recently, I had the special opportunity to experience a true staple of New York City’s restaurant scene, Peter Luger, which also happened to be my first steakhouse since I moved here. Following a meatopia of bacon the size of my face and a charred cow for four doused in pounds of steak sauce, plus the famous tomato onion salad (are those tomatoes genetically mutated or what?!) and creamed spinach, it is safe to say I had more than a wine hangover when I woke up. What better way to recover your bloated belly than more food? I woke up too uncomfortable to exercise or sleep, so brunch was the only option. Off to Fat Radish, we went.
We got out of the taxi in the Lower East Side disoriented as we dodged numerous forklifts, suspect puddles, unwelcome fishy smells, and large shipment boxes that obstructed the sidewalk. After a few wrong turns down alleys with unrecognizable shop names, we finally stumbled upon the Fat Radish, a welcome escape from the confusion. Unfortunately, we were told upon arrival that it was cash only, something I am never prepared for, so we we were subjected to more disarray while we searched for an ATM. Ten wrong turns and minutes later, we were back in the comfort of Fat Radish, and were this time able to appreciate the homey decor.
It struck me as odd that they would choose such an off-the-beaten path location, as I imagine the scene at night leaves something to be desired. However, it does give you a heightened sense of relief and appreciation when you walk in the door. Its cozy, rustic atmosphere, white-washed bare brick walls, oversized mirrors, and natural lighting from scattered skylights made me feel right at home.
We ordered French press coffee and the homemade banana bread, which was promptly served warm and moist with delicious chunks of banana and a side of strawberry jam. I was initially disappointed at the restaurant’s lack of espresso machine and wasn’t overly impressed with the French press, but the delicious pastry dissipated any negative feelings.
Immediately, my boyfriend PK and I noted the English influence on the menu and the farm-to-table features, scoring brownie points for both of us. Inspired by PK’s Manchester roots, we ordered both the avocado toast and the English breakfast to start, putting Fat Radish’s British fare to the ultimate test.
The avocado toast was served on 7-grain toast with eggs drizzled with hot sauce, giving the dish an extra kick. The eggs were served soft-boiled instead of the usual poached, the avocado was seasoned to perfection, and the spicy eggs added a special element to a classic. PK must be a traditionalist, because he preferred a more classic version of avocado toast. However, I would recommend this to anyone looking for something less conventional.
I chose the all-greens omelet with ricotta cheese for my main. Paul was not enthused, but at least it wasn’t my usual order of granola! While this covers the healthier brunch option, it was the biggest disappointment of the brunch. I recognized that Fat Radish was trying to highlight the fresh ingredients touted on the back mirror wall, but there was an excessive amount of greens on top, and in some bites I felt like I was eating more grass than egg.
Last up was the full English breakfast with Meyers of Keswick sausages, bacon, eggs, bean, and tomato. Coming from an English family and dating a Brit whose parents treat us to proper English breakfast every weekend we visit them in New Jersey, I’m a tough critic when a restaurant totes a similar offering. They had me with Meyers of Keswick, a British grocery shop in the city that offers an abundance of goods from the Motherland, including an assortment of breakfast sausages that my boyfriend orders for his breakfast butties every chance he can get. Per PK, Fat Radish “nailed it” with their traditional, quality combination.
The Bitches say B+. Fat Radish has an inviting atmosphere amidst an off-the-beaten path location and offers comforting twists on English classics.
The Fat Radish
17 Orchard St.
Fat Radish Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.