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La Pulperia Brunch

I generally like to keep my Sundays low-key, especially as I’ve become older. Since my former roommate from DC was visiting, a lazy Sunday was just not in the cards for me. Our itinerary included brunch followed by quintessential New York things like Central Park and a Broadway show.

Little did we know that Sunday brunch at La Pulperia in Hell’s Kitchen is generally a drag brunch. I had seen the sign outside of the restaurant but didn’t think that was the case from what we saw inside. We were seated as we normally are for brunch, and it was calm and quiet. Drinks were in order, and I opted for sangria while Kara went with a classic mimosa. Both drinks were decent.

For starters, guacamole is always a must. We have to say while the guacamole was rather conservative in size, the taste was delectable! Kara and I also decided to split an order of empanadas de maiz filled with creamy corn and manchego cheese. The duo of empanadas was incredible. We should have really ordered more.

All of a sudden we were greeted by a drag queen named Ritzy Bitz. She had announced to drink up as the show would be starting. The show began with a dance performance and rendition of a Madonna song. We had no idea what was in store next. We placed an order for our entrees and watched alternating performances by two drag queens that were definitely fierce as hell. Kara and I were relieved we had opted for the two-hour bottomless beverages deal for $30. La Pulperia has two seatings for drag brunch on Sundays, at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

We noticed the tables beside us were mainly women ranging from millennials like us to those of our mothers’ age celebrating birthdays and bachelorettes. Ritzy Bitz was rather sassy and provocative. While we thoroughly enjoyed her performance and sexual banter, Kara and I were hoping she would leave us unscathed as we sang along and ate our meal.

For a strange change, I decided to order a salad for my entree. As a vegetarian, it’s rare that I order a salad for my meal. I like greens, but I generally do not want salad for brunch. I take brunch seriously and use that time to indulge and undo all of the healthy choices I make during the workweek. A colorful salad came out with all of the fixings with for a warm spring salad. Warm farro was topped with parsnips, beets, feta, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash and drizzled in an orange maple vinaigrette. I did not regret this decision. 

Kara went with the steak and eggs for her entree. The grilled skirt steak was served on a wooden board with a fried egg on top and served with a side of golden frites. She was delighted with how the steak was cooked and thought it was decent.

It was a bit difficult to focus on our meal as we took in the performances around us. Ritzy Bitz called upon those celebrating special occasions and turned the show into an experience that included audience participation. The ending was quite possibly my favorite; everyone got out of their seats to dance to “Toxic” by Britney Spears. While the dance party was shortlived, we absolutely loved it. The food was decent, but Kara and I were ultimately more impressed with the drag show and attentiveness from the staff.

The Bitches Say: A for a drag brunch in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. Come for the performance and stay for the Latin-American plates and bottomless beverages that you will certainly need. 

La Pulperia serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 4 p.m. Drag brunch is held only on Sundays from 12-4 pm.

Shruti Shah

NYC Editor & Resident Vegetarian

Shruti has a love affair with gin and spicy food. By day she's hustling in PR for leading consumer brands. When she's OOO, you can find her at Daybreaker dance parties, exploring kitschy cocktail bars and reviewing veggie-friendly brunches.

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