It feels like ages ago when we were struck with the last uncharacteristically hot day in New York, and the only close to comfortable way to get around was a stale taxi cab. This particular weekend, we decided the best way to avoid the sweat that greeted us the minute we stepped outside was to head immediately to brunch. I had Dimes on my mind after a flurry of Instagram activity featuring their chia puddings, and dragged Paul down to Chinatown with me to endure a health-nut breakfast.
I didn’t know what to expect heading to brunch below Canal Street. Chinatown is a vast unknown to me and typically a place of avoidance. The grittiness of the neighborhood made Dimes seem like a diamond in the rough, literally. A tiny corner spot that was barely marked, it would have been easy to miss if not for the swarm of lower Manhattan hipsters hovering around the front door.
I’m not exaggerating when I say tiny; there were 6 miniature tables in the restaurant, and a small counter where diners could squeeze in and eat side by side. There’s no surprise that you are greeted with a long wait, especially for larger parties. The back of the restaurant displays an impressive collection of fruit, which exuded fresh, juicing healthiness.
Its intimacy is very much in line with Dimes’ whole vibe. It’s a low key, cozy spot with a simple but appealing menu. Classic hip hop played softly through speakers, which matched the hipster ambiance. Dimes’ decor is clean and white-washed, and despite its small size, Dimes is flooded with light. I was a big fan of the intimacy.
Dimes was as unprepared as we were for the unseasonal heat wave, and we were dismayed that in our close quarters, the AC didn’t seem to be working. The open windows and doors weren’t exactly creating a breeze, and we chugged a lot of water during our brunch to make up for the amount we were perspiring. I’ll add that this is the only negative portion of my review, as our meal was completely fantastic, and I can’t penalize Dimes for the unfortunate circumstance.
I loved every aspect of the menu, down to the logo. There was a great balance of thoughtfully healthy dishes, curbing both our savory and sweet cravings. The drink menu was a surprise, as this is something I tend to skim-and-skip. I found myself sipping on a delightful fennel-ginger lemonade, while Paul enjoyed an iced tea latte with lavender, house made almond milk, and honey. How great do these sound? We thought so too.
After all the acai buzz in my fit friend circles, despite my inability to correctly pronounce acai, I had to start with one of the unique offerings. We settled on the bowl with carob, banana, dates, cinnamon, coconut, and almond walnut granola. I loved that this dish curbed my sweet tooth while providing filling nutrition. It was sort of like frozen yogurt without being frozen, as the Acai is served like an ice cold pudding. I felt like I was eating a fancy, healthier yogurt, but with a fruit flavor. You can’t go wrong with these.
We tried the summer tacos next, served with a large portion of scrambled eggs, a spicy peach tomato salsa, charred corn, cheddar, and house made hot sauce. These had an awesome kick and were full of flavor. If you like spicy, definitely order this. I look forward to Dimes’ fall version of this brunch dish.
We finished brunch with the breakfast sandwich, served with scrambled eggs, jalapeño, more of that delicious Dimes hot sauce, avocado, and cheddar. This was simple but wonderful, and the house made foccacia bread sealed the fate of my glowing review.
It was difficult not to add to my already full tummy when I eyed dishes like a sunny up egg tartine with house made ricotta, chia pudding, or pulled chicken sandwich. I can’t wait to return and do some more damage to the Dimes menu!
The Bitches say: A. I can’t say enough good things about getting healthy, quality food in New York without paying a pretty penny, and Dimes nailed it with an inventive, delicious menu and a relaxed, hipster heaven vibe. And all under $13!
143 Division St.
New York, NY
Dimes serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.