Brunch is a Must

Brunch is quickly becoming one of my favorite things on the weekends. Well, let’s be honest anything to do with delicious food gets my heart pounding a little faster. It’s probably a good thing I joined the gym..

I started my Sunday morning by going to church at St. Monica’s to celebrate Palm Sunday. I don’t have any friends in the city that are Catholic so I ventured to mass on my own, but the church was packed so I really couldn’t feel too alone! St. Barbara’s back home always had the pre-made palm crosses made for the perish, but you were left to your own devices at St. Monica’s, as I think you are at most churches. After the blessings and services I grabbed a couple of extra palm leaves on my way out so I could attempt to make some crosses on my own. I did my best to figure it out, and a couple of them turned out pretty good! So I put a couple in our apartment and gave the others to my friends. Spreading the Easter spirit as much as I can!

After mass and cross building, Donna and I were off to roam the streets in search of food. We always tend to wait until we are starving and overlook the thought of actually picking out a location before walking out of our apartments. Making spontaneous choices every now and then never hurt anyone though, and with so many restaurants on every block we knew we wouldn’t have to venture far before picking a location. This week’s choice? Brasserie Julien on 3rd Avenue between 80th and 81st Street. 

The restaurant has been described as “Paris Around the Corner.” I haven’t been to Paris, so I can’t completely tell you if that is an accurate description but I can tell you that it is a cozy atmosphere, dimly lit, with red accents and vintage red velvet bar stools at the bar. The whole back of the restaurant is lined with a wide selection of wine and stained glass art. The appearance was of a high-scale restaurant and the food was cooked to fit. The prices were surprisingly decent with almost everything on the breakfast menu under $15. They also offered a free cocktail to guests that “checked in” to the location on Foursquare. My phone isn’t smart phone capable so I wasn’t able to take advantage of that offer, but my friend did! 

We both decided their french toast sounded like a great way to start the afternoon and even better, mine came with poached eggs and hollinase sauce encompassing the best of both of my favorites, french toast, and eggs benedict. The food didn’t disappoint and the staff was delightful. It’s definitely a place I’d love to go back to!

After brunch we decided we weren’t entirely done with indulging and decided to stop by Our Little Brown Bakery and Coffee. Max Brenner is the founder and he opened the shop on the Upper East Side a couple of months ago. We’ve talked about going since before it opened, but hadn’t made it over there yet so we took the opportunity to finish our brunch off with a bit of chocolate. Since it was a sunny 65 degrees (don’t get me started again on the Spring weather) I opted to get a Skinny Iced Chocolate and Donna went with the classic hot chocolate. I’ve never been a die-hard hot chocolate fan, but Brenner does hot chocolate right at Little Brown! I can’t say the skinny was as rich, as expected, but it still did my sweet tooth in. 

From there we were headed back to lay out in Central Park for awhile. We’ve made quite the habit of laying out behind the MET in the park on every sunny weekend day we’ve had so far and I only see that habit happening more as the sun decides to come out and play. There is nothing like laying out, ipod in hand, and good company in the park to make for the perfect end to a weekend!