What can I say. I love off-the-beaten path places. While I do not want to take living in a big city (for its convenience and excitement) for granted, I do enjoy me some quiet solitude. So when possible, I prefer to brunch at places that are not too populated by tourists and hyped up diners. Surely, Tavern on the Jane, a quaint restaurant/bar in West Village, NY, is NOT a secret spot. It’s located on the corner of a the posh town of NYC and maintains a stream of patrons throughout my dining there. But the interior is cozy and warm, with a continuous tempered fireplace, rustic brick walls, antique tchotchkes hanging on the sides and walls, and even thick, chubby Crayola crayons on the tables for you to draw on the paper plate mats as you await for your meal.
The brunch prix-fixe began with a basket of croissants and mini blueberry and corn muffins, plus the rarity of two metal tubs of orange marmalade and strawberry jam and the default butter packets. While the French pastry arrived cold and plain looking, the muffins were warmed up ever so slightly. Note to restaurants, ALWAYS warm up the bread, which makes a big eating difference. My mom vied between the brunch specials and the regular brunch list; ultimately, she went for the atypical egg Benedict with smoked trout and crab meat, not something you see as part of an egg Benedict dish. Luckily, the fish was not overly salty, but the crab meats were just a few ripped up chunks, which did not add much specialty to the bite. The plate also included some potatoes and a paltry amount of fruits (two sliced melons, slices of two small strawberries, and one orange slice in a fancy twist.) Unfortunately, the saddest element was the eggs. Poached eggs should have runny yolks, giving them the sexual and luxurious appeal, yet these were overcooked, more like eating two hard boiled eggs indeed. This did not help to lubricate the dry, hard English muffins underneath as the bed of the proteins. While the portion was ample and fulfilling, the execution did not succeed. My choice of a mixed green salad ($10) had many random ingredients, like the inclusion of bitter watercress with the mesclun and butter lettuce and the unseasonal tomatoes (not the restaurant’s fault though as this is the winter). The balsamic vinaigrette was not sour, which I appreciated). I am so glad that my decaf (yes, trying to be good with my caffeine intake) was strong and hot (in temperature.
Besides the salad, the brunch prix-fixe does not offer much vegan options, but vegetarians should be alright with the egg varieties. $15 is really a great steal for the amount of food brought out. It won’t provide you with an orgasmic experience, but by including the ambiance to be part of the equation, I would not mind stumbling back to this corner of the city again. The best part of the brunch time is the rare opportunity for my mom and I to chat in a comfortable and available area over random thoughts and yes, even some rantings. But that is just quality mother and daughter time for us.