When my friend Deanna told me she was coming to the city for the weekend, I knew I better rest up. When we’re together, our shared interest in fitness comes to the forefront, and we go into Über-Fit Bitch mode, which usually means lots of walking, a fair amount of sweating, perhaps some sneaker shopping, and copious amounts of good-for-you food.
This visit was no exception. Having both recently jumped on the Crossfit bandwagon, we started our Saturday bright and early, grabbing coffee and dropping in on a 9 a.m. class. Exhilarated from all the burpees and box jumps, we took our active morning one step further and went to a park for a little headstand practice. After 15 minutes of graceful balances and awkward flops to the ground, our stomachs started to protest and we realized it was time for a much-needed refuel.
I had done some planning prior to Deanna’s arrival and already knew we would be going to The Butcher’s Daughter, a self-proclaimed “vegetable slaughterhouse” nestled in Nolita. Known for having a long wait, we were glad that we had done the earlier Crossfit class, as we were able to walk right in and had our pick between outdoor seating and the large community table inside. Normally I would jump at an opportunity to sit al fresco, but with the gray sky looking like it could burst at any second, inside seemed smarter.
Upon entering, we both took a second to admire the quaint interior, which is modeled after an old-world butcher shop, but with a feminine spin. The concrete floors and steel meat hooks contrast beautifully with rustic, white tables, exotic greenery and bright bowls of fruit, overflowing with lemons, limes, and oranges. We hoped the attention to detail found inside translated to the food!
Sitting down at the large group table, a waitress was over within seconds carrying menus and water. We started with the beverage menu, reading through the lengthy list of juices, smoothies and elixirs. I kept my order simple, selecting the “Red”, a pear, beet, and ginger juice. Deanna opted for the “Honey Bee”, which was a hearty mix of grapefruit, turmeric root, yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit), kumquat, pear, honey, and bee pollen. Both juices were fresh and tasty, but the Honey Bee took the prize. A perfect blend of flavors, the turmeric added a nice spicy finish and was balanced by the tart grapefruit and sweet honey.
While we were getting settled, we began small talk with a group of girls who were visiting from Sweden. As we shared with them all the places we thought they should visit, we couldn’t help but stare at the Gluten-Free Bakers Basket they had ordered. While “Bakers Board” might be the more correct term, the assortment of that day’s baked goods looked so delicious, I had to snag a photo.
Having been distracted for a minute by the carbohydrate beauties, we realized it was time to order. The menu was a good mix of sweet and savory, offering refined vegetarian/vegan takes on some brunch classics. We chose the coconut yogurt parfait to start, with coconut yogurt layered with goji berry granola and an assortment of berries and sliced apples. The yogurt was sweet, smooth, and refreshing. The granola added a nice crunch, and the fruit provided a pop of freshness, making it the perfect start to our meal.
For my main, I ordered the smashed avocado toast Benedict: two poached eggs placed atop hearty, multigrain bread with a heaping layer of seasoned and smashed avocado. While the dish was good, there was some room for improvement, as the eggs were overcooked, and all of the seasonings didn’t shine through in the avocado. However, a fan of the classic, this veg-friendly version was a welcome adaptation and left me feeling full, but not gluttonous.
Deanna chose the egg sandwich platter, which was two eggs scrambled with cashew carrot cheese, avocado, and kale and served on multigrain toast. After one bite, Deanna knew she had made the right ordering decision. The eggs were fluffy and flavorsome and the toast had been spread with a tomato jam that added the perfect sweet, spicy kick.
Eggs finished and juices downed, Deanna and I sat at the table feeling happy and satisfied. Though we were hesitant to leave the cozy atmosphere, we left feeling energized and fueled to conquer the rest of our undoubtedly busy day.
The Bitches say: A-. Flavorful and wholesome, The Butcher’s Daughter changes how you might envision vegetarian/vegan brunch fare. Paired with the beautiful décor, it’s a place you’ll want to visit again and again.
The Butcher’s Daughter
19 Kenmare St.
New York, NY
The Butcher’s Daughter serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.