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New York Food

Brass Monkey: Kid-friendly Restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Brass Monkey Burger with Cheese ($15) and Sweet Potato Fries ($5)

On a dreary but not-too-cold day, we made our way to Brass Monkey in the Meatpacking District to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. We walked past packed brunch spots like Pastis, and I was concerned that we were going to have to fight for a table.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Rooftop with an awesome view.

I don’t know if it was the sad weather that put people off, but Brass Monkey was practically empty when we arrived. We were able to grab a table on the rooftop deck big enough to fit the 14 members of the party, and spread out with all the space we had.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Rooftop

As the afternoon wore on, the tables slowly filled up, but it was never packed to the point of the famous neighbours downstairs. In fact, when it started to rain, we were able to find empty tables enough to fit our remaining part of eight on both the floors below.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Who let the toddler out?

Speaking of floors – there are three. The main floor entrance, with a bar, tables and chairs, the middle floor with a second bar, booths and small tables and chairs, and the rooftop. There’s no lift, so if you’re planning to take kids to the middle level or rooftop, pack light and bring a folding stroller. One thing’s for sure, you’ll burn off at least half of the food you’re about to consume.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Full Irish Breakfast (two eggs any style, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, beans and toast ($13)

Brass Monkey serves upmarket bar food. It has a brunch menu with a twist, including items like the Egg Scramble Wrap (scrambled eggs with spinach, tomato and cheddar, served with homefries) and Maine Lobster Roll, served with old bay chips. You can also try the Full Irish Breakfast (two eggs, any style, sausage, bacon, black pudding, white pudding, beans and toast).

On a sunny day the rooftop deck get crowded fast. It has a less pub-like ambiance, with little pot plants embedded in the walls, and a creates an interesting juxtapositioning of old and new, being right next to the Standard Hotel and High Line.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Egg Scramble Wrap (with spinach, tomato and cheddar, served with home fries $12)
Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Asparagus, tomato, fresh mozzarella egg white omelette with home fries ($14)
Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Egg Marisol (poached eggs with avocado, tomato and hollandaise on toasted English muffins with home fries ($14)

Our food arrived pretty quickly for a party of 14. Everything was well cooked to order, including the meal which was altered to suit a gluten-intolerant diner. My Egg Scramble Wrap was delicious. A big wedge of egg, wrapped in spinach, tomato and cheese. What combination could be better?

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
A sweet potato fry is acceptable.

We couldn’t find any high chairs, so we balanced Cheese on our laps, then chased her around the deck when she got bored. The sweet potato fries we ordered entertained her for a while, then I resorted to letting her pick the ice out of my empty glass.

The staff were efficient, but not overly friendly. They gave us what we needed, and kept out of our hair. No special concessions were made for kids, but it was a very welcoming environment, and we didn’t feel awkard about having our rowdy toddler with us. Several more toddlers arrived as we were leaving, so we clearly weren’t the only people seeking a quieter option for lunch or brunch on a Saturday.

Last bite: For bar food with a twist – and a great view, grab a table on the rooftop deck, order a drink, and relax in the sun.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: Yes – as long as it’s not super busy, there’s plenty of room for strollers.
Easy access: Yes, to main floor.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Brass Monkey
55 Little West 12th St
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 675-6686
Hours: Daily, 12pm-4am
Prices: $
Cuisine: Bar food

Brass Monkey on Urbanspoon

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Southern Comfort & Biscuits: Buttermilk Channel, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

What is possibly the most famous brunch spot in Brooklyn, Buttermilk Channel, has always eluded us as a brunchery with our child. The thought of a long wait has been too daunting to even try it. One rainy weekend, however, my desire to eat well (and potentially run into Beyonce, who apparently loves their chicken and waffles) got the better of me, so we grabbed our obliging neighbors and headed on down to Buttermilk Channel. The doors open at 10am on the dot. We arrived at 9:55 and were the 2nd in line. By 10am, there were over 10 other people behind us. So lesson learned — the early bird gets the waffles.

We were seated at a great table straight away, and had very attentive service. I particularly liked how our waitress brought the toddlers tiny glasses of water and crayons without being asked, and did ask us if we wanted to order anything for the kids while we were looking at the menus for ourselves. (And yes, yes we did.)

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

I ordered Buttermilk Biscuits ($4) for the toddlers to snack on while our meals were being prepared. I ordered the most exotic sounding dish on the menu — the Pecan Pie French Toast, with Bourbon, Molasses & Toasted Pecans ($11). It was outstanding. One of the best brunch dishes I have ever eaten. Thick bread generously soaked in egg, and covered with a thick, sweet molasses . . . absolutely incredible. The entire table had food envy so I had to share it so that everyone could enjoy its glory. That being said, every dish was delicious: Eggs Huntington with Poached Eggs, Buttermilk Biscuits, Benton’s Country Ham & Hollandaise Sauce ($11), Short Rib Hash, with Sunny-side-up Eggs, Toast & Organic Greens ($13) and the House-cured Salmon Platter, with Fried Peppers, Green Onions, Cream Cheese, Pumpernickel & Organic Green Salad ($12).

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel does not disappoint. Its reputation is completely well deserved as one of the best brunch spots in Brooklyn, and the restaurant is an absolute must for anyone who loves fine, Southern-inspired food (and celebrity spotting). Their kid-friendliness is just such an added bonus that enables parents to enjoy top-quality food without feeling like pariahs for bringing small, noisy children with them.

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Last Bite: Buttermilk Channel is worth the effort, even if you have to wait in line. Arrive early to avoid the throngs of New Yorkers also hankering for a divine brunch with their families.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal. Bring a stroller that folds and be prepared to leave it outside.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St,
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: (718) 852 8490
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-10pm, Thur 5pm-11pm, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 10am-3pm, 5pm-12am, Sun 12am-3pm, 5pm-10pm
Get Directions

Buttermilk Channel on Urbanspoon

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide: Boerum Hill

Betty's Bakery, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Residents of south Brooklyn love to talk about the “BoCoCa” neighborhood. Like all acronyms in in NYC, “BoCoCa” is made up of three ‘hoods that border on each other. You might have heard of the “Co” (Cobble Hill) and “Ca” (Carroll Gardens), but you might not have heard of the “Bo”, which stands for Boerum Hill. That will change today with our handy neighborhood guide.

Upper 90
This soccer store is loved by locals for more than just their large range of soccer shoes, apparel and other soccer-type items. Upper 90 has an indoor soccer field where they host lessons for kids, as well as open play for toddlers every weekday morning from 10-12 ($10).
359 Atlantic Ave

Betty Bakery
This is your sweet spot to pick up cupcakes, cookies and, in summer, strawberry lemonade. You can also try a slice of cake – we recommend the strawberry shortcake, with layers of vanilla cake, fresh whipped cream, and huge strawberries.
448 Atlantic Avenue

Nunu Chocolates
Handmade truffles and caramels await you at Nunu Chocolates. All chocolate is made in the store, so you know what you’re about to eat is literally freshly made. Grab a coffee, hot chocolate, croissant (and of course, a few truffles), and watch the chocolates being made in the back. Our faves: the salted caramels.
529 Atlantic Ave

Building on Bond
This hot eating spot is so hip it hurts. Locals stop by for coffee every morning, and brunch on weekends. As well as having delicious food, it’s reasonably priced (the brunch menu ranges from $6 to $12).
112 Bond St

Acorn
Stop by this toy store for a special gift. Acorn carries beautifully designed, handcrafted toys from around the world. You’ll find lots of wooden toys at Acorn, plus flying bird mobiles and nursery prints, including the Red Knit Cap Girl.
323 Atlantic Avenue

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Day trip: Taking the East River Ferry to the Imagination Playground

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via Brunchwithmybaby.com

With the temperature (finally!) rising, life with a kid is all about finding ways to cool down. There are only so many times you can go to your closest splash park before you literally go bananas from boredom (sorry, it’s the truth!). So why not venture out of your neighbourhood to try something new? You’re not the only one who will enjoy checking out a new playground – and getting there and back is just part of the adventure.

A great afternoon (and cheap!) outing we recently took was jumping on the East River Ferry to Wall st/Pier 11, and the Imagination Playground at the South Sea Port. It’s worth noting that the ferry trip alone made for a great adventure for the kids. They were insanely excited to sit in a big person seat next to the window, and see Manhattan quickly approaching. There is a cool breeze through the middle of the ferry while it’s on the water that will make you want to stay on the ferry and spend the entire day just going up and down the river…

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via brunchwithmybaby.com

We decided to test drive the Imagination Playground because we really wanted to see how the toddlers enjoyed playing with the blue, foam blocks that the Imagination Playgrounds are famous for. Imagination Playground blocks are suitable for kids aged two and up to play with. They’re basically huge shapes made out of non-toxic lightweight foam. The blocks come in a variety of shapes (curved and sharp angles) and sizes, and encourage kids to use their imagination to transform their play space into anything they can dream up. A robot, a play house, an animal or rocket ship – the only limit to what can be built with these blocks is a child’s imagination.

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via brunchwithmybaby.com

The blocks are only one feature of this great playground. At one end lies a huge sandpit, with a ramp running over the top and a twisty slide that ends up back in the sand. In the afternoons, this section is fully shaded, so gives a great respite from the heat if you can just get your kid to stay there.

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via Brunchwithmybaby.com

At the other end of the playground lies the sprinklers, and a whole host of kids of all ages trying to cool down. Tip: dress your kid in their swimwear and water shoes, so they can run around from one area to the next without dirtying their regular clothes. Don’t bother with a swim diaper (the kids won’t get THAT wet), but do remember a hat and the water shoes in particular.

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via Brunchwithmybaby.com

My toddler’s splash park outfit this summer consists of a long-sleeved swim top (better sun protection and less time spent trying to cover her in sunscreen while she wiggles and objects), a swim diaper (I put it over her regular diaper if we are somewhere that only has a basic sprinkler as she doesn’t get very wet, just so she has something to wear that’s water-friendly with her top) a hat and water shoes (we upgraded to the Natives shoes after taking these photos because the water come straight out, so your kid can wear the shoes in the water, and then all afternoon without getting wrinkly, soggy feet).

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port - via brunchwithmybaby.com

One last feature of the playground is an array of pipes and turning wheels, that older kids enjoyed climbing and the toddlers enjoyed spinning the wheels. Like everything else at the playground, each item can be played with by kids of all ages and abilities.

Imagination Playground at Burling Slip
Cost: free
Hours: Daily, 9am-6pm
Front St., John St., and South St.
Manhattan

East River Ferry
Cost: $4 per trip, $12 for an all-day pass
Hours: Ferries run ever every 20 minutes on weekdays, and every 15 minute on weekends. Be sure to check the schedule and your closest terminal. The trip from Brooklyn Bridge Park/DUMBO to Pier 11/Wall St only takes five minutes.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

A Star Twinkles in Williamsburg

There’s a saying that you don’t live in New York for the weather. The five months of this year so far have certainly proved this to be true, with a long, cold winter, snow and a ridiculous amount of rain.

So what’s a parent of a little kid to do, when it’s too wet, too cold (and now that the summer months are upon us—too hot) to play outside?

The answer? Catch the G (or L!) train to Williamsburg and check out the play space there, Twinkle.

Twinkle is a true family business, owned by sisters Vanessa Yee-Chan and Mieka John, and their father Victor John. The family has been part of the Williamsburg community for over 30 years, and decided, after noticing a lack of play spaces in their area for families to go to, to create the amazing world that is Twinkle.

Walking into Twinkle was literally like walking into a wonderland. Here is a breakdown of the many, many different areas of the playspace: Red Hot Fire House (a giant fire truck where kids can make the lights and siren flash), Stardust Tree Fort (a life-sized tree with a fort in its branches), How to Feed your Dragon (four 15-foot dragons that suck up scarves into their pipes and shoot them out the top), Pretty in Pink (a beauty parlour with crazy wigs), Brooklyn General Store (the most amazing kids store we’ve ever seen, stocked with play groceries and carts, and a moving conveyor belt on which to “buy” items after shopping), the Graffiti Studio (a dance room filled with balls and balloons), Gently Down the Stream (a water play station), The Hard Hat Zone (a sandpit with construction toys), Young MacDonald’s Barnyard (adorable pretend farm animals for kids 18 months and younger), and Twinkle Lounge (a place for parents to sit and relax, overlooking the playspace).

My toddler is 21 months old, and the perfect age to enjoy a lot of what Twinkle has to offer. The playspace is suitable for kids under the age of six, so they have a range of activities that children can enjoy depending on their age. My daughter in particular enjoyed the grocery store, the fire truck, the sand pit and the water play station. I enjoyed seeing her deliriously happy.

Twinkle is a membership-based play space, with a $25 first-time trial drop-in rate, which is exactly what we did to test drive the amazing space. You can also buy a six-visit pass for $130 if, like us, you’re not a local to the play space, but think you’ll be back a few times over a two-month period. The six visit pass is perfect for summer and winter in particular, if, also like us, you spend all of your time during these seasons trying to escape the excessive heat/cold.

Maybe we’ll see you there!

This article was originally posted on the MommyNearest Blog.  

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Big Gay Ice Cream: Kid-Friendly West Village, NY

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Before I was introduced to the Big Gay Ice Cream, my experience with soft serve was limited to McDonald’s. I’ve never liked it, and was hesitant to try what I’ve always viewed to be ice cream’s second-rate cousin. I’m happy to admit I was wrong when it comes to Big Gay.

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

Owners have created a cult following in New York City for a very good reason. Their soft-serve is developed in collaboration with Ronnybrook Farm Dairy and includes fun and creative ice creams like the Salty Pimp (my personal favourite, which includes injections of caramel and sprinklings of salt, and then dipped in chocolate).

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

Big Gay in the West Village is my favorite outpost to visit. They have a large seating area and we’ve always found a table, even on their busiest days. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere quirky and fun, and the ice creams are just amazing. What more could you ask for?

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

Last bite: A unique spin on old-school soft-serve is a winner with all age groups. 

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop West Village
61 Grove Street
(at Seventh Avenue South)
New York NY 10014
Prices $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-12am, Sat-Sun 12pm-12am
Get directions

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Where To Eat And Play In Brisbane With Kids

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com While I spent a lot of my childhood summers on the Gold Coast, I’d never visited Brisbane. Absolutely no reason why, other than that the opportunity hadn’t presented itself until recently. After a blogging conference on the Gold Coast, I stopped through Brisbane on the way back to Sydney and spent two days exploring the best that Brisbane has to offer families. If you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine state, you could easily spend a couple of days enjoying Brisbane with the kids. Here are my tips on a fun family holiday in Brisbane: Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com Eat and play at Gasworks Plaza
Book a table at Buzz for lunch right next to the gasring. You’ll enjoy the delicious food (the quinoa salad was divine) and gorgeous interiors by local designer Anna Spiro of Black & Spiro, and the kids can run off steam in the adjoining park. Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

After lunch, take a stroll down to the nearby riverbank. Kids can bike or scoot along the river, and will enjoy the street art and statue of Gloria the sheep, a tribute to the Teneriffe wool stores that lined the river in the early 1900s.
76 Skyring Terrace, Newstead

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com Shop at Growing World, Emporium
This gorgeous children’s store is filled with educational toys and books from all around the world.
1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com Rock out at the Brisbane Powerhouse
The redeveloped powerhouse is a centre for art and culture. Check out the (often free) events for families, or just drop by on a Sunday to experience live music and markets (the pop-up Suitcase Rummage markets are on once a month).

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Kids can roam inside the powerhouse, spot some cool graffiti art and dance to indie-pop and rock bands. Make a day of it by enjoying an early dinner or glass of wine at Bar Alto. Grab a balcony table overlooking the river while babies are napping and older kids are playing with your iPhone or colouring in.
119 Lamington St, New Farm

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Run wild at New Farm Park
Set the kids free in 18 hectares of gardens and open green space. The attached New Farm Park playground is a local family favourite with fortress-like constructions winding through huge fig trees.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
No-fuss family dinner at Eat Street Markets
The perfect dinner option for families with no pressure for kids to sit down and behave. 60 industrial shipping containers have been converted into mini shops and restaurants. Choose your meal from local food vendors (Italian, Mexican, potato rings on sticks, sweet potatoes fries and much, much more is on offer) then camp out on astroturf covered giant blocks to enjoy live music while the sun goes down.
Macarthur Avenue, Hamilton

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
Book a free city tour with Brisbane Greeters
Our tour guide, AnneMarie White, was a local expert who showed us the best places to eat and shop in the James Street district with and without kids. A remarkable woman with a background in broadcasting, it was a pleasure to learn about Brisbane through her own experiences.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
Chic shopping and dining at James St
Leave the kids with Dad for an hour or two while you check out local Australian designers and boutiques. Sass + Bide, Camilla, Zimmermann and more await your credit card.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
Feeling peckish? Harvey’s Bar and Bistro is a great breakfast and lunch choice with or without kids.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth like I do, be sure to pick up a treat from the iconic Joceyln’s Provisions. While you’re deciding which delicious cake to order, poke your head inside their kitchen to see the pastry chefs hard at work.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
Play time: South Bank Parklands
As well as being the cultural centre of Brisbane, the South Bank is filled with family-focussed entertainment.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
Get arty at the QAGOMA
The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art is a top choice for adults and children. Most of the gallery is free entry, including the Children’s Art Centre. Their current major exhibition, “Harvest” (open till Sept 21) celebrates food in art and includes interactive features for older children, as well as kid-friendly art such as large sculptures and a Shangai supermarket installation.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Take littlies to the children’s exhibition, “Pattern Bandits” (open until Nov 2), where they can explore a world of colour, shape and pattern in a completely hands-on environment. The free exhibition features craft activities that can be taken home or left to be put on display. Kids will particularly love the kaleidoscope corridor where they can see their own faces turned into bright patterns.
Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Bank

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Segway Tours with X-wing
Older kids will love seeing Brisbane’s South Bank on a mini-segway. Zoom along the river bank with a helpful guide to tell you all about Brisbane.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Get a bird’s-eye view
Take a spin on the Wheel of Brisbane for a panoramic view of the city.

brisbane-318

Streets Beach
This man-made beach with white sand and lifesavers is a summer oasis on the Brisbane river shore. It’s perfect for families, with shallow lagoons, sprinklers and crystal clear water.

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Stop for a bite at South Bank Surf Club
After a swim at Streets Beach, stroll the the nearby Surf Club for a relaxed fish and chips.
30aa Stanley Street Plaza, South Bank

Where To Eat & Play in #Brisbane with Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com
Sweet Treats at Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar
Brisbane’s first dessert and cocktail bar offers build your own fro-yo, ice cream and a range of other sugar-coma inducing desserts.
2/179 Grey Street, South Bank

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Essex: Where Brunch Includes 3 Cocktails; LES, New York

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

When wanting to book a large table in NYC, your options are limited. For a friend’s birthday with a party of nine, we tried out Essex, a restaurant on the Lower East side with a modern, chic design, lots of natural light and a great value-for-money brunch menu.

The brunch menu is a fixed price, $23.95 for your entree plus three bloody marys, screwdrivers or mimosas. They’re quite liberal with the drinks, particularly mimosas, and several members of our party think they actually ended up with four each. The drinks aren’t super strong, which is good when you’re drinking that many cocktails at noon …

We were seated at our table even though we were waiting on the last two guests. The restaurant quickly filled up — clearly word has gotten around that this is a good brunch bet.

While there wasn’t a kids’ menu, we ordered sides off the menu for Missy E (French Fries and Fresh Fruit) straight away while everyone else decided on their order. Her dishes arrived quickly — two generous servings which we helped her with.

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Our party ordered a variety of dishes: Challah French Toast (bananas foster sauce, fresh fruit), Baked Eggs (crisp black forest ham, roasted peppers, shitake mushrooms, Monterey jack), Omelet (spinach, tomato, sheep’s milk cheese with mixed green salad and home fries), Short Rib Hash (two eggs any style, duck fat potatoes), Grilled Shrimp & Avocado Salad (poached egg, baby spinach, pico de gallo).

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Essex #kidfriendly #restaurant @lowereastside #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

The meals were all a great portion size, with generous amounts of fresh ingredients. My omelet was delicious, filled with tasty cheese and tomatoes, and slightly spicy home fries. The French toast “tastes better than it looks!”, and the baked eggs xxxx.

Our server wove in and out of diners with a large jug of mimosas, topping up glasses as soon as they were empty.

Last bite: A great brunch spot for large groups, especially those wanting mimosas with their eggs.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes (folding strollers are best).
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Essex
120 Essex St,
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 533 9616
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm Sun 10am-6pm
Get Directions
Reservations

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Chocolate Chunk Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company, LES, New York

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

When you want good pancakes in New York City, it’s a well-known fact that you head to Clinton St. Baking Company. The bakery and restaurant was opened in 2001 by husband and wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, with a mission to make the best baked goods in the city, hand-mixed in small batches.

Fast forward to 2014 and the once tiny bakery is now a bustling restaurant, with their pancakes awarded the title of “the best in the city” (twice!) by New York Magazine. Clinton St. Baking Co. is such a popular breakfast and lunch spot that if you turn up for brunch on a weekend, you’ll often find yourself facing an up to TWO HOUR wait. They have the waiting system down to a fine art, and even have a page on their site devoted to “the wait“.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Don’t let this dissuade you from going, however. To avoid a wait on weekends, your best bet is to arrive by 8:30am and put in your name for the first seating at 9am. To avoid a long wait in general, visit during the week or at night when the waits are shorter, if at all. Don’t worry — they serve breakfast during the dinner hour. We visited on a weekday at 8am. The restaurant was full by 8:30am, but the wait outside was pretty short, with most diners not having to wait too long for a table. If you find yourself waiting for a table, the surrounding streets have some really cool graffiti/street art that’s worth checking out.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Since Alec had to get to work, we ordered and ate as quickly as we could. I ordered the Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter (choice of wild Maine blueberry, banana walnut, or chocolate chunk pancakes, $14) and Alec ordered the Southern Breakfast  (two eggs any style, sugar-cured bacon, cheese grits, and fried green tomatoes, $14). We also ordered a side of sourdough toast for Missy E ($2), which arrived with Vermont butter and the most amazing raspberry conserves I’ve ever tasted. As well as the toast, E shared my pancakes when they arrived — the novelty of chocolate for breakfast was just too exciting for her to handle.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

My pancakes were fantastic. I chose chocolate chunks, and my three big fluffy pancakes were absolutely chockfull of the chocolate. The pancakes were warm and the butter atop them was slightly melting. I really enjoyed their warm maple butter instead of maple syrup as it wasn’t anywhere near as sickeningly sweet. Alec’s southern breakfast was a bit on the dry side — he would have preferred some kind of sauce to go with it. He did, however, thoroughly enjoy the cheese grits and fried green tomatoes — both novelties to an Aussie.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

So are they the best pancakes in New York? I’m afraid I can’t say as I don’t really eat pancakes often enough to be able to rank them! I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed mine and would absolutely go back for more.

Last bite: How can you resist trying some of NYC’s best pancakes? Be prepared for the wait and you’ll enjoy a really great breakfast.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: No.
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Clinton St Baking Co & Restaurant
4 Clinton St.
New York, NY
Phone: (646) 602 6263
Prices: $
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, 4pm-5pm (pastries/ coffee to go only), dinner 6pm to 11pm; Sat 8am-9am (pastry & coffee to go only), 9am-4pm, dinner 6pm-11pm; Sun 8am-9am (pastry & coffee to go only), 9am-6pm.
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Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Top 5 Sweet Spots on the Upper East Side

When your sweet tooth is a-calling, the Upper East Side is the place to go. Within a few blocks of each other lies a cornucopia of sugary heavens. How’s a sleep-deprived mom to choose?

Dylan's Candy Bar; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via brunchwithmybaby.com

Dylan’s Candy Bar
Created in 2001 by Dylan Lauren (of the Ralph Lauren family) Dylan’s Candy Bar is the place to go for a serious sugar high. Choose from 7,000 candy treats in the store, then lounge upstairs in a cupcake booth at the Candy Cafe to enjoy lunch or a snack, and perhaps a candy cocktail.
1011 3rd Ave, New York, NY

Baked By Melissa; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via brunchwithmybaby.com

Baked By Melissa
These mini cupcakes were made with tiny hands in mind! At $1 for each little cupcake, it’s the perfect sized treat when you don’t want the day to get too sugary. Our favorite flavor is the Choc Chip Pancake (totally breakfast food, right?).
784 Lexington Avenue at 61st Street New York NY

Two Little Red Hens; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via brunchwithmybaby.com

Two Little Red Hens
How can you pass up what’s often called the best red velvet cupcake in the city? The cupcakes come in regular and mini sizes, so you can sample several if you’re not set on one flavor.
1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY

Sprinkles; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sprinkles Cupcakes
If you’re on the go, grab your cupcake from the Sprinkles ATM out the front. We prefer to sit down inside to enjoy our cupcakes – the cupcake-inspired interior and ottomans are a huge hit with kids. Know before you go: Check out their rotating seasonal menu so you visit on the day when your favorite flavors are being served.
780 Lexington Ave, New York, NY

IT'SUGAR; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via brunchwithmybaby.com

IT’SUGAR
This candy chain store recently opened its doors on the Upper East Side. IT’SUGAR focuses on the fun of candy, from giant 5LB Hershey bars to the World’s Largest Gummy Bear (they recommend sharing this cub, and so do we!)
1542 3rd Ave New York NY
IT’SUGAR Image via Jia J. Yelp.com

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.com.

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Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!