Sunday was a different kind of weekend day, in that I had brunch. Loyal readers of this blog will know that I'm not much of a brunch person, but turns out it's a good excuse to convene friends one hasn't seen in a while. So I organized a girls' brunch at Double Crown down in that random neighborhood near Bleecker and Bowery (LES? East Village? Noho? who knows?). Despite the half-full restaurant, they wouldn't seat us until our whole party was here, grrrrrr, but once all four of us had arrived, we wedged into a table behind the host's stand. Mercifully, it was right next to an enormous space heater crowding the floor and toasting the back of my chair. Were I a normal person with normal metabolism, it would have been unpleasantly hot. As it was, with my skin nearly combusting, I was nearing tolerable warmth.
Our waiter ably responded to some of my jokes, so points for him. However, the fact that three of the four of us ordered teas seemed to be a little too much-- apparently, as we were told three times, the restaurant only has 20 teapots, and they were all in use. So he'd bring us tea as soon as the pots freed up. Note to Double Crown: buy more teapots. I mean really. When it's cold outside, people drink tea.
Anyway, enough of the drinks (for now-- more later...), and on to the food. YK and SL decided to share two of the enticing entrees: Mulligatawny soup and eggs florentine with curry hollandaise. The soup looked a little greasy but came with two big wedges of grilled bread (bonus!); YK noted that it had an intriguing flavor, spicy and sour all at once. SL oohed and ahhed over the eggs, which were certainly pretty to look at. Both ladies seemed pleased with their shared choices.
After asking our waiter for advice when choosing between the mackerel and green apple salad ("I hate it") and the endive and stilton salad ("it's standard"), KS went for the smoked salmon sandwhich, which the waiter recommended. She enjoyed the interesting flavors (coconut labne and piccalilli on the side), and for my part I enjoyed the creative presentation.
You'll notice that this review is somewhat (entirely) vicarious-- my stomach was feeling a little off, for some reason, so I stuck with my tea, despite an enticing-sounding fruit salad on the menu. Well, I'll amend that to say that SL and I shared a tea-- which was our server's solution to the teapot shortage. Since we both wanted green tea, he brought one pot, two glasses, and extra hot water throughout the meal. And then he charged us for two teas. When SL delicately but firmly brought that to his attention, he removed the second tea from our bill, but really.... $4 for what amounted to more hot water?
So yes, I don't have much of a leg to stand on in rating the food at Double Crown, but the girls rated it a solid three Offset Spatulas-- good flavors but small portions for the prices. If you make it over there, definitely head downstairs to check out the bathrooms-- they're Asian-themed and make you feel as though you're in a nightclub, even though it's 2 in the afternoon. But don't even think about ordering the tea.
316 Bowery (at Bleecker)