Brunch is one of my favorite meals, but it goes neglected. My weekends revolve around intense partying and the crew and I adopt a vampire’s schedule for two days. We go out at night and we don’t return to our beds until dawn. Once home, we stay cooped up in our apartments with curtains down and the only food we eat is what’s in the cupboards or what can be delivered. I once tried to rally a Sunday brunch with about fifteen people on an e-mail, telling them the place and asking for a response by a certain time to see what the interest was. Nobody responded. Nobody made it.
One weekend I had a mild Saturday night and decided to meet FunStar for brunch the next day.
Me: I’m dying for a good brunch place in this city. Is there one?
MM: Let me think…
Me: I mean, I wish I could eat at Norma’s everyday but I can’t afford it, financially or physically.
MM: Ha! I hear you. Have you been to Bubby’s?
Me: Bubby’s? As in the pickles? No…what on earth is that?
MM: You should try it. It’s one of my favorites.
FunStar and I strolled in at two o’clock and had about a 20-minute wait. Luckily there were two seats at the bar so we grabbed them and two bloodies. The portly bartender in his summery pink polo was the life of the place. He was all smiles and chatting up each guest as they joined him. There were two cute girls sitting next to us who must have foregone table-side for bar-side because they were chowing down on biscuits and gravy one minute and key lime pie the next. With their moaning and groaning a la Sally in “When Harry Met Sally,” it sounded like both dishes were musts.
Bubby’s was just the kind of place I’d been looking for. I felt like Dorothy in her sparkling red slippers. I’d finally come home, home to a warm, welcoming, boisterous, no frills brunch place. Allelujah!
There were all kinds of people at Bubby’s that morning: couples on first dates, foreigners reading their maps, studying their next move, families of newborns and in-laws, models and their men, young teens, cougars and silver foxes. It’s the kind of place where all feel comfortable. You can go with anyone and be anyone at Bubby’s.
I’m not sure what I liked better– the high ceilings or the awesome corner windows. Both eased the sense of it being so packed and I really enjoyed the people-watching outside. I wished I had a sign to smack against the window when somebody was checking us out. It would have read “COME EAT HERE!”
The table setting was a colorful map of the U.S. with some fast foodie facts. I learned that my boy T.J. (founder of my alma mater) was the first to bring ice cream, macaroni, waffles, vanilla and many other cooking ideas to the U.S. Not only that, but he is the traditional founder of macaroni baked with cheese in America…one more reason for my historic crush on Mr. Jefferson. I can just picture him writing our Declaration of Independence over some warm, crusty mac and cheese.
My first bite of goodness at Bubby’s was the biscuit-like scone. I’ll call it a biscone. After one bite it tasted like a scone. After the second bite it tasted like a biscuit. Either way it was soft, fluffy, needed no condiments and was the perfect start to our brunch. You can always judge a restaurant by its bread, or in this case, its biscones.
For my main dish I ordered the eggs benedict with hash browns. FunStar chose the same with bacon. I ordered a fruit bowl on the side, while she ordered grits. When it all came to the table, we were slightly overwhelmed. I felt like a girl in a shoe store, I didn’t know which plate to try first. The easiest was the fruit bowl. It had all my favorites: bananas, strawberries, grapes, pineapples and blueberries. I loved that they left out melons. Melons ruin fruit bowls for me.
Next up? The eggs. I’m fashionably late to the eggs Benedict party. Hollandaise sauce used to really scare me. Now it’s something that I can’t not order at breakfast or brunch. I used to be an omelet girl and I’ve converted. The poached egg and ham combo is hard to beat. The eggs were cooked to just the right amount at Bubby’s, the English muffins were large and crispy and the potatoes were piping hot. I took a couple of breaks for air when I caught myself shoveling it in.
If you are a grits person, you cannot skip them at Bubby’s. Just look at this bowl. It was big enough for a family of four. Sadly FunStar and I could barely put a dent in this serving, but it was worth ordering just for our several bites. The best part is the thin layer of cheesy goodness on top. Usually I think grits are boring and need a lot of salt and pepper to boost the flavor, but these were so good they didn’t need any help.
Bubby’s, oh how I love thee. You made my morning, my afternoon, my week even, and I can’t wait to return to you with friends. I promised you I would save room for your key lime pie and I didn’t. I will be back soon.
MastersMaven paid it forward by sharing her love for Bubby’s with me, and now I’m doing the same. Go out there, have a tame Saturday so you can make it to brunch, get yourself some Bubby’s bloodies and Bennies, and pay it forward. I hear they make a mean macaroni and cheese that would make Thomas Jefferson proud.
120 Hudson St., at N. Moore St.