Drunk Brunch. The only rational excuse (besides your school’s mid-afternoon football game) to pretend as if you are still in college and capable of drinking all morning, while eating some breakfast, dancing to loud music and then still manage to make it out that night. It’s a ritual of sorts and one of the most fun experiences in the city. If you haven’t yet had the wonderful love-hate relationship with drunk brunch, I don’t know what you’ve been doing. Because these treasured gems offering pitchers of watered orange juice and Andre champagne are scattered all over the city and shouldn’t be missed.
I met my friends at Paradou in Meatpacking for brunch at 2pm. My amazing friend from abroad, Liz, was in town for LA and planned a wonderful group mesh of a drunk brunch. The waiter led us to the back, garden area, with loud blasting music and tables packed together like sardines. A friends chair was even pushed against a tree, and my seat on the end kept getting bumped into by other people trying to shimmy their way to the bathroom. But despite the less-then desirable seating arrangement, we weren’t here for comfort, we were here for brunch. Pitchers of champagne and mimosas began making their way onto our table, as we clinked glasses and waited for everyone to arrive.
Everyone finally came, sat down and toasted to new and old friends as the pitchers kept flowing. A pink one entered the mix, but I tried to stick to the mimosas for the entirety of the meal. We ordered our dishes, ordered my typical salmon and egg combination, the Ouefs Paradou.
When the food arrived, I was surprised at the neat presentation and fresh looking ingredients. Drunk brunch usually just serves the bare minimum, but the food was surprisingly delicious as well.
My eggs were poached perfectly, with the bright salmon on top of thick, toasted bread. The hollandaise sauce mixed with the oozing yolk creating a mixture of my favorite breakfast staples. I did steer clear of the awkwardly colored “sauteed spinach” that seemed to have been plopped on the side of the plate after sitting out for hours. But overall, the dish was delicious.
When the bill came, I was shocked how inexpensive the meal turned out to be. For a party of 8, it was $35 per person for unlimited drinks and food. Plus, unlike many other places, they do not rush you out of the restaurant and cut off the pitchers the second the food is finished. Instead, we enjoyed each others company a few more drinks and licked each others plates clean before heading off the Standard Beer Garden for a day of even more fun activities.
The next time you are thinking about a plan for a birthday, fun afternoon out or for just no reason at all, consider drunk brunch. You’ll leave happier then when you came in and it won’t put a huge dent on your wallet.
Paradou – 8 Little West 12th Street – New York, NY