There were many options for brunch this past long weekend, but most of them required planning or reservations at least. So, my brunch partner and I ended up at Bouchon Bakery for brunch just because we were in the neighborhood and have had delicious snacks there before. So, we thought how bad can brunch at Bouchon Bakery be?
The main seating area had a wait, so we ordered the Garden Salad to go and a couple of soups (Tomato Soup, and Chicken Soup with Herb dumplings) to go. Granted it’s not yet summer in NYC (isn’t Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer?), however, with the mercury touching 90 over the weekend, we inadvertently assumed that the soups were chilled – our mistake.
- The salad was mostly green leaves with one lone medallion of goat cheese that was stuck to the lid of the salad box (as you can see in the photos). We launched on something close to a treasure hunt to locate the 3 cherry tomatoes, 3 – 4 slices of cucumbers, and the few slices of radish. One does expect a salad to include more than just leaves, right? The red wine vinaigrette had a little too much vinaigrette for my taste, but my brunch companion was fine with it.
- The tomato soup was delicious with the bright red color and the tangy flavor of San Marzano tomatoes. If only it had been chilled! On a cold day, this hot soup would have been the perfect accompaniment to the grilled cheese sandwich listed on the menu.
- The chicken soup had a few dumplings, but was mostly just chicken soup with a very strong smell (read “unappetizing” for me). Some others may call it a wonderful chicken flavor, but for those people who do not like their food to smell of chicken or seafood, here is a warning – please stay away from this soup.
After what was supposed to be a 15 minute wait for a table and what turned out to be a 35 minute wait, we were seated. The only 2 options that appealed to us were the Hash du jour and the red pepper quiche.
- The highlight of the brunch for us was the Hash du Jour with poached eggs and lobster. They agreed to omit the lobster upon my request. Whenever I have to make this request, I am always torn between my love for eating lobster and my (in)ability to deal with the allergic reaction it causes. The hash was actually just diced potatoes perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These were bathed in melted butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The 2 poached eggs were sitting perfectly on the diced potatoes and topped with some freshly snipped chives. I would have these eggs any day with their soft, golden-yellow runny-but-not-too-runny yolks enveloped in their smooth white cover. The only not-so-great thing about this dish is that it was way too hot for a warm day.
- The red pepper quiche was a tad too sweet for my liking, but perfect in texture and temperature.
The next time I go to Bouchon Bakery, I’ll try the Croque Madame, or the Bouchon Bakery Franc-furter (white sausage with caramelized onions) or stick to snacks.
Reminder to self: Go on a cool / cold day to enjoy the warm dishes.