A large group of friends were in town so we basically had an itinerary down pat: wake up, brunch, sightsee, drink, sleep, repeat. Not a bad life. The crew was all staying in Williamsburg so the majority of our meals were on that side of the river; luckily we weren’t at a loss for killer restaurants.
Our friend Barbara, back in town from Chile, used to work at Sweetwater Restaurant so we adding it to our brunch agenda so she could catch up with old co-workers and have this lamb burger that she couldn’t stop gushing about.
Sweetwater is located centrally in Billyburg, but still maintains a rustic neighborhood feel. The interior is dark and cozy, but the real surprise is an expansive secret garden at the back of the restaurant, perfect to escape the Bedford Avenue buzz.
A few of the ladies split a chilled bottle of rosé, which went down easy on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Bloody Marys were also in order, as some of our party was still a little banged up from the night prior. The Bloodys had a nice thick consistency and just a touch of spice, served with a photo-worthy garnish.
Molly came to brunch with an appetite, per usual, so she ordered the gazpacho to tide her over after seeing the gorgeous soup served to the diners next to us. This was a house special of the day and we all agreed it should make it to the main menu. The soup was light, refreshing, and complemented by a luxurious drizzle of olive oil.
For the main course, Molly and Marshall split the Eggs Supreme, basically an avocado toast on steroids with the inclusion of poached eggs, ham, and avocado and tomato concasse. They enjoyed the fresh veggies and noted that the eggs were poached perfectly, but this dish could have used an extra pop of flavor, perhaps with some citrus or spice.
I was trying to undo a long weekend of indulgence so I ordered Shorty’s Salad, a mix of fruit, egg, avocado, and slivered almonds atop baby kale. It was a tasty salad, but overshadowed by the more indulgent items on the menu. That’s what I deserve for trying to be healthy.
Also on the healthier side, Robert ordered the quinoa burger topped with red pepper jalapeno jam and fresh avocado. He went a little off menu and added truffle cheddar cheese on top, which was a power move. We both agreed that this may be one of the best non-meat burgers we’ve tasted—with the inclusion of avocado, truffles, and melted cheese, how can you go wrong?
Not everyone at our table was being boring and healthy. Half of our party was on vacation after all. A few of the gang ordered Benedicts, both traditional-style with Canadian bacon and with smoked salmon.
Unanimously, everyone found the poached eggs cooked perfectly and the Hollandaise was of a desirable, light consistency. Two thumbs up on the Bennys.
Oh good lord, that lamb burger. Barbara had declared definitively that it was the best item on the menu and she wasn’t kidding. Not only was it monstrous, but this juicy hunk of meat was slathered in tzatziki and harissa sauces. The lamb was slow cooked so it basically melted in your mouth and we all clambered over stealing bites off Barbara’s plate.
Finally, to round off our feast on a sweet note, Marshall yet again ordered “FT FT,” or French toast for the table, a tradition that I think should be mandatory in every group brunch. Sweetwater serves its French toast crusted in cornflakes with fresh fruit and whipped cream. I couldn’t get enough of the crispy exterior paired with the soft Brioche. It was perfect to share among friends because all of us couldn’t muster up more than a few bites of this sweet treat.
The Bitches say: B+. A laid-back neighborhood gem in the heart of Williamsburg with a lovely hidden garden. Don’t miss the lamb burger and the French toast.
Sweetwater Restaurant serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.