So I get a call from my flagrantly gay friend Roland, who just happens to be stuck in some small town called Ft. Morgan in the great state of Colorado. He’s flustered:
“I gotta get my ass back to New York City, bitch!” He says on the phone.
“What the hell are you doing out there, anyway?” I ask.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Roland.”
I hear him blow cigarette smoke into the phone (I know this because he smokes habitually. I scold him for this terrible habit, but as he says repeatedly: “My only two bad habits are Marlboro Reds and dick”).
Roland continues: “What? No. Don’t worry you’re pretty little head, Matthew. It was some uncle who hates the gays, so whatever. But my mother was close to him, and I’m the good son, so now I’m stuck in this god forsaken redneck shit town wearing black at funerals with fat people.”
“Yeah. And there’s nothing to do here. New York has made me her bitch. I have to get back. There’s no place to drink. There’s no place to eat. I felt threatened buying cigarettes at the Wal-Mart out here.”
“How are the bars?” I ask, for obvious reasons.
“Horrible. Terrible. Disgusting. And not disgusting in a good way, like the Subway Bar, but like, actually Red State disgusting.”
I think I know what he means.
“I’m starving. I want to brunch. I NEED it. I need a fucking patio. I need a decent Bloody Mary. Matthew. I’m going CRAZY! The highlight of my trip was smoking dirt weed behind a Dairy Queen with some Goth kids.”
I try to visualize Roland doing this and it makes me smile.
But Roland brings up a good point. Here in Brooklyn, brunch is a very important part of life. Roland knows. The patio is important. The Bloody Mary is important (and I make the best, and y’all know this!).
But there’s just some places that have been ruining my brunching high lately and it’s time to address this. Here’s a short list of places that have been fucking with my brunch life.
135 North 5th Street and Bedford.
You know what? Fuck you, Egg. I really, really wanted to like you. But like the popular chick in high school, you’re kind of a bitch. I heard great things about your food. I heard great things about your drinks. But that’s just the problem. There’s too many people who know about you. I know, I know, it’s like blaming a whore for sleeping around, they just can’t help it and they hate their Dad. But there’s other problems. Like the staff. Seriously, guys, smile. Just once. Pretty please? And get a bigger place, Egg. I feel like I’m on a subway car in Tokyo. By the time my food eventually arrived, the gravy over my biscuits was cold. And I fucking hate oatmeal. Egg, get over yourself. Expand and hire a new staff. Or at least hand out free Prozac to them to get a smile out of these fucks.
2 Hope Street between Roebling & Havemeyer.
Again, what is with these uber-shiek terrible waitresses? Girl, I have been serving people all of my life. I need a refill on my coffee. Now stop talking to that bike messenger who doesn’t wash and fill a cup for a brother. So me and my now unemployed, full-time writing, less homicidal roommate Tony go into this joint to give it a shot. And of course, the waitresses here don’t smile either (perhaps it’s fashionable not to do your job now), they all are dressed like they’re at a fashion show, and the recommendations were terrible. Tony ordered something called Chicken Fried Chicken (or something ironic) and it ended up looking like two little wings tied together with a battered string, which he choked down begrudgingly. The portions are small, the plates are overpriced, and the service sucks. Good coffee though, which goes a long way. But we all know Stumptown is the shit.
352 Bedford Ave.
You’re cute. You are. You’re very pretty. You are. I feel like I’m talking to that girl whose all looks and no substance. The Eggs Benedict here was served on rock hard biscuits. And I KNOW what Benedict should taste like. The sauce was like some imitation brand. Don’t fuck with what works, Rabbithole. Keep it classic. The Reuben Sandwich was horrible. The corned beef was sinewy and long, I felt like I was chewing on meat-flavored shoelaces. Now I know y’all used to own Read Café, and anyone who knows the hood knows that Café was the best Bedford Avenue had ever seen. But lay off the looks and get a new cook. 3 Michelen Star trained, my ass.
Brunch is one of the most important things in life. Okay. Not really. But it can make life beautiful on a summer day with friends.
Stay tuned for the Williamsburg Brunch joints that absolutely rule.
And let us pray for Roland’s safe return from Hicksville, USA.
These are the kids I imagine Roland smoked weed with.
And this is where it went down.