Lara also is founder and editor of Grits in the City
I’ve been meaning to try The Spotted Pig since I moved to New York City over two years ago. I’ll admit, it is the usual wait time I’ve heard about from basically all sources which has kept me away. Overall, I like low-stress and unrushed brunches. However for certain restaurants, you’ve just got to make an exception. At least once anyhow…
This outing coincided with the inaugural outing for Babes Who Brunch. Since we had a fair sized group and they do not take reservations, we were there right when they opened. Sometimes this itself is not an effective strategy (this is definitely the case with Clinton Street Baking Company – arrive at opening time and you’ll be greeted by a long line of people who have been there already for an hour), but in the case of the Spotted Pig, I was relieved to see lots of empty tables, no line, and that there’s even a decent-sized seating area upstairs.
Once seated upstairs, our server was very attentive, coming over to check-in with us and to share the specials. I could quickly tell that he really knew their food, as I asked him several throughout our table’s ordering process. I couldn’t make up my mind and I saw once our entrees came out that he’d made a spot-on assessment. I’d been toying with the idea of the frittata until he said it was very heavy. This was confirmed when my friend who did order it told me later in the day that she was still full. He’d told me if I wanted bacon, the Dutch baby was what I should choose. I learned something else when another friend tried to order a side of bacon – very little flexibility on the menu options. No sides of bacon here. Either a side of serrano ham or you’d better be getting the Dutch baby too.
So what is a Dutch baby, you say? I was under the impression it was a thicker pancake. Wrong. It’s more of the exact opposite, falling somewhere between a crepe and a pancake. It’s flat. It’s powedered. Yet somehow, it’s enough to hold its own against thick strips of bacon and maple syrup. I really like bacon with my pancakes, so this one having everything all mixed into one dish was right up my alley. Their maple syrup was surprisingly not sweet, perhaps aided by the savory saltiness of the bacon. I was initially worried that I was not going to be full enough from the meal. It was so light it didn’t seem to fill me up. And then it settled, and was just perfect. Highly recommend.
Next time I plan on tackling the burger, pictured here. I had quite a few of the fries (note a side order of fries is enough to constitute at least a meal and a half – outrageously huge portion size), so I know I’m a fan there. This time, the Roquefort cheese caused me not to go with the burger as I’d orginally thought, especially after seeing they were not keen on substitutions or alterations. Those who had the burger said it was amazing – done just right. I figure I need to give on something, and it’s sure not going to be the chicken liver toast, so next time it’ll be me versus my blue cheese aversion. So overall, I’d recommend coming early. Coming prepared to wait. And definitely giving this cozy spot a try, if only once.
The Spotted Pig – 314 West 11th Street (@ Greenwich Street) – 212.620.0393
No Reservations Taken / Walk-in Only