10/27/16 Update from the Bitches: This restaurant is now closed.
There is something about eggs drenched in thick Benedict sauce and fatty bacon that can put you three steps backwards to bed for the rest of the day. Some rare Saturdays, you wake up not needing to soak up three martinis and a pickleback with a bottomless affair, and are instead looking for brunch that will kickstart a day of productivity.
Enter: Northern Spy Food Company. The gem you want to Instagram. The most appealing healthy brunch menu maybe ever. The lattes you want to dive your face into. And the only kale salad I might ever crave in my life.
Full of friendly East Village hipsters, you feel cool just being there. It’s known for offering fresh, farm-to-table food supported by local vendors, a plus for all you Food Inc. fanatics. Designed to be full of light, warmth, and with an abundant use of great reclaimed wood, you want to love this place when you walk in the door.
I ordered the latte first, because no brunch place passes the Emily test without a quality latte, and then I ordered a Fuji Apple mimosa. Both were great. This seemed like the place to order fresh buttermilk biscuits with season preserves, so we splurged and got those as a starter, too.
Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Our next order was the pork sticky rolls, which I would initially describe as confusing. It looks like a cinnamon bun, which is what your tastebuds expect upon first bite, but instead are greeted by a Dijon-mustard glaze and parsnip icing.
Don’t get me wrong—this blows regular cinnamon buns out of the water.
It was a delicious combination of savory and sweet, and I appreciated the unexpected twist on a classic dish. Better news for you ambitious Bitches is that Bon Appetit included the recipe in their March issue, which can be found online here.
Continuing on our culinary adventure, my sister ordered the pulled chicken sandwich, in which case both the chicken and the egg came first. Yes, the juicy chicken was adorned with a poached egg, plus some amazing salsa verde and complemented with only a few potatoes. It was a solid and filling brunch sandwich, but would have been great with double the potatoes to soak up all the extra egg and pulled chicken.
And now, the star of the show. The Northern Spy Food Co kale salad with cheddar, summer squash, almonds, pecorino and two baked eggs. I’d heard a lot about this main but am not usually on the kale train. I now dream about this dish. It was so simple and far from fancy, but the flavors were perfect together.
The best part? Eating healthy in New York is such an expensive challenge and this main is only $12—a steal for such a memorable dish.
The Bitches say: A. This brunch leaves you full in a good way, is both taste-good and feel-good, and offers healthy, organic options that don’t break the bank.
Northern Spy Food Co
511 E 12th St
New York, NY 10009
Northern Spy Food Co is open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.