At the start of 2018, I made a resolution to get back to New York City for fun (not just for work). That goal was hugely motivated by my desire to return to many of my favorite food spots.
When my train pulled into Penn Station at 11:00am on Friday, I was already thinking about where I would go for lunch. When I saddled up to the bar at Hillstone, there was no question about what I'd be ordering - the veggie burger.
That night, I met my hostess for the weekend at The Smith. I literally dream about their fried green beans with ranch dipping sauce. Though they had swapped out that menu item for a fall-themed dish (yes, I had a mini tantrum), we ordered the house made chips with blue cheese fondue instead (a delicious consolation).
On Saturday morning we walked to EJ's Luncheonette at 73rd Street and 3rd Avenue.
Apparently Real Housewives cast members Ramona Singer and Dorinda Medley are spotted often on that block, so my eyes were peeled.
We put our name in wth the host and after about 15 minutes, they called us.
EJ's has branded everything in the space - the front door, the welcome mat, the napkins - you name it.
The menus are huge and double sided, with plenty of diner classics to choose from. My brunch date went with the farmer's market egg white fritatta, which came with a side of juicy sliced tomatoes and a stack of seven grain toast.
I ordered the Little Italy omelette, a pretty standard brunch choice for me. It was wonderful - fluffy eggs, fresh tomatoes and basil, and just the right amount of mozzarella cheese. I found the home fries to be undercooked (the worst) and the challah toast was thin, rather than the big, eggy pieces I'm used to at places like Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton, MA.
A true friend will always indulge me at brunch and order something sweet to share in addition to our savory egg selections. On this particular morning we went with the French toast, which came with strawberries and bananas on the side.
The toast was so yummy it didn't even need the maple syrup.
Our meal at EJ's fueled us for an afternoon of NYC exploring. We went to the Frick Collection, walked through Central Park, saw A Star is Born, and then settled in for another great meal, this time at Beyoglu.