“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”
Most Sundays you can find me curled in bed in a post-brunch induced food coma or Sunday Funday-ing it up pretending to watch football (Go Bears?). Thus, I was really proud of myself when I had an active, healthy afternoon of laundry, cleaning, running, and brunching with my friend Andrada.
We caught up during an 8.5-mile run on the West Side Highway and worked up quite the appetite. By the time we concluded our workout, we were too lazy to freshen up and wanted to brunch somewhere laid-back, relatively quick, and easy with no judgment of our sweaty selves.
After facing a bit of a wait time at Ruby’s on Mulberry Street, a lightbulb went off when I saw the Grey Dog sign up the street. I walk past the restaurant at least twice a day on my way to and from work and always mentally note that I’ve heard great things about its numerous locations in Manhattan.
We peeked our heads inside and saw that Grey Dog met all of our criteria: other people in sweats, open tables, and a wide variety of indulgent and healthier menu items.
The entire restaurant and staff has an extremely laid-back vibe; we both agreed that it seemed like we were dining in Vermont rather than SoHo. You order and pay at the expansive counter at the front of the restaurant and then servers bring out your food, quickly at that. Water and silverware is self-serve and the coffee is strong and bottomless.
We had a tough time deciding between delicious-sounding menu items so we decided to split a few items down the middle.
The poached eggs with smoked salmon and avocado caught both of our eyes from the breakfast side of the menu. It’s a combination of our favorite healthy ingredients, after all. This dish was simple and wholesome, which we appreciated. The protein was served alongside lightly dressed arugula and your choice of bread. The eggs were perfectly poached, but obviously slicing avocados, plating smoked salmon, and tossing a handful of greens doesn’t require much additional skill. Despite the lack of finesse, this dish hit the spot and was a great way to healthfully refuel after a long run.
We also ordered the seared tuna salad from the lunch side of the menu. The salad with Asian-inspired with thin potatoes, picked vegetables, and a generous heap of wasabi among our rare tuna. We both really enjoyed this salad; the gently seared tuna practically melted in our mouths.
For an extra punch of greens, we tried the side of Brussels sprouts with a Dijon sauce. The sliced Brussels spouts were served with fresh cherry tomatoes and the Dijon sauce had a zesty kick. This dish was a winner.
Andrada’s one request for a brunch venue was some pancakes, we earned it after all. We noticed the pancakes on the menu in hindsight so we placed a last minute order for a small portion off the kids’ menu. The pancakes were adorably shaped like dog bones delighting our inner five year olds. They appeased our sweet tooth, but were nothing to write home about. They were thin and tasted like Bisquick.
One great thing about paying ahead of the time at the counter was that we could depart the restaurant at our leisure and we weren’t rushed out of our table. We took advantage of the bottomless coffee and took our leftover java to go, no problem.
The Bitches say: B. Low key, unpretentious good eats at a fair price for this sceney neighborhood.
The Grey Dog serves breakfast every day; brunch begins at 7:30 a.m. on weekends.