This weekend, my friend Carolyn was in town, taking a break from her graduate school duties in Chicago. Caro was the first of our friends to flock from the city and it always feels like a special occasion when she returns, giving us an excuse to gather as a group.
We chose brunch in Nolita because we wanted to be in a location convenient for a day strolling from shop to shop in Soho. Cafe Gitane has been on my list for a while and the cheap menu and lack of wait time settled our indecision. I also happened to have my long run of the week that morning, so I was incredibly ravenous and eager to indulge in excessive brunch carbs.
We immediately put an order in for the avocado toast, which makes frequent appearances on my Instagram feed from my fellow foodies. It had a generous, thick topping of creamy avocado and was finished with red pepper flakes. I love avocado toast in general and thought this was a great starter, but it wasn’t any more spectacular than avocado toasts at some of my other favorite brunch locales. Despite my A.T. snobbery, I would definitely order this dish again.
We also all ordered lattes, which were wonderful, and served with a chocolate morsel which I eagerly combined with my espresso drink to turn it into a mocha. We all had seconds.
Christine, Allaire, and Carolyn all ended up ordering variations of the baked organic eggs with basil, tomato sauce, and cream, some with Merguez sausage. When something sounds good, it sounds good! I find that baked eggs can sometimes be boring, but the creamy sauce made this great, especially dipped in the side of crusty bread.
I ordered the baked organic egg sandwich with Merguez sausages, parmesan cheese, and chipotle mayo on a French baguette because my body was screaming for the thick bread I noticed at the table next to me. This was standard but good, and the mayo added a nice extra kick. It got the job done, but I wouldn’t rave about it to a friend.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves, the lack of wait, and the low price tag, despite the inconvenience of being cash only. Cafe Gitane isn’t a place I would bring out of towers, but it’s nice for a low-key meal with New Yorkers.
The Bitches say: B. This was a solid brunch in a great location, and we appreciated the cheap prices, despite the limited brunch menu.
242 Mott St
New York, NY
Cafe Gitane serves breakfast Sunday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight, and Friday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.