• counter: best brunch in nyc!

    November 9th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    well, my dear readers, it’s about time for your humble narrator’s vegan culinary tour of manhattan to come to a stop. and what better way for me to end the string of quarrygirl nyc posts than to leave you with my absolute favorite meal from manhattan: brunch at an awesome little restaurant called counter.

    like most places worth eating at in new york, counter is trendy. counter is pricey. counter is maybe even a bit pretentious. but counter is sooooooo worth it. i read about this swanky little restaurant originally on one of my favorite la based blogs, huggerfood, and i decided that i had to dine there on my trip, no matter what. when another new york based blog backed it up as being the best brunch spot in town, i dedicated an entire saturday morning to trekking across manhattan in search of the perfect post-hangover eats.

    i found my way there and…..wow. wow. wow!!!! counter was fucking incredible. it’s a snazzy vegetarian joint where most of the food is vegan, the service is friendly, the digs are posh, and the ingredients are top-notch.

    frittata alla fiorentina: tofu frittata with a creamy mushroom hollandaise on a bed of spinach with home fries. $9.75

    frittata alla fiorentina: tofu frittata with a creamy mushroom hollandaise on a bed of spinach with home fries. $9.75

    i ordered the frittata alla fiorentina, because the tofu patties and vegan hollandaise sauce sounded absolutely divine. the dish lived up to its hype and so much more. a firm vegetable-tofu medley was formed into two succulent patties and topped with the most incredible eggless creamy sauce and made for the perfect late morning meal. plus, the course came with an ample serving of dark leafy greens and thick, fried potatoes. they also gave me a serving of vegan nutella on the house. i just had to have it after reading about it on huggerfood. even without any pastries to spread it on, counter’s vegan nutella was delightful, and acted as a great condiment for all my food.

    the brunch was amazing—everything was out of this world. the real kicker is, the tofu patties actually contained bell peppers (which i hate) and i was still able to eat them. there’s absolutely no logical explanation for that…the food was just THAT FUCKING GOOD! i am still trying to rationalize it.

    being seitan obsessed, my husband was thrilled to see the east side burger on the brunch menu at counter. he didn’t let the fact that it was 11 am stop him from ordering a slap-up meal consisting of a huge vegan burger and thick, juicy, sliced potato french fries.

    east side burger: wild mushroom pâté, housemade seitan & fresh herbs with all the normal fixin's. $10

    east side burger: wild mushroom pâté, housemade seitan & fresh herbs with all the normal fixin's. $10

    there was nothing at all to fault about the east side burger. i tried it, and it was one of the best vegan burgers i’ve ever had. the patty was absolutely huge, and obviously homemade….none of that freeze-dried shit. this was the real deal. vegetables, grains, soy protein, all blended together perfectly to taste hearty and slightly unhealthy. if we lived in new york, we’d be at counter every weekend for brunch, most def.

    after wolfing down two incredible brunch items at counter, i was super satisfied…but also extremely disappointed that i wouldn’t be in town long enough to sample their plentiful dinner menu. i guess there’s always next time.

    wrapping up my tour of nyc, i gotta say, counter was the most bitchin’ place i ate at. a dripping saucy tofu breakfast, chunky and rich clumps of vegan nutella, lush & fried perfectly seasoned potatoes and a juicy thick vegan-grain burger patty made for the most amazing meal i’ve had in quite some time. when in nyc, get your ass to counter.

    thanks for reading, now i’m back home…so you’d better get ready for a shitload of cool posts about vegan los angeles.

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7 responses to “counter: best brunch in nyc!” RSS icon

  • I love that you got 2 completely different dishes from what I ordered when I was there. It’s like I got to try what you ordered, too! I’m thrilled that you loved Counter as much as I did. It’s definitely one of the best restaurants I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. Oh, and that is a momentous feat if Counter was able to mask the taste of the bell peppers enough for you to actually eat and enjoy them!

    Thank you for giving me props. 🙂 Yours is one of my favorite blogs and it’s definitely an honor to be linked from your fabulous blog!

  • You ate bell peppers???

    Welcome to the dark side!

  • vegyogini – no problem on the props! i’m so glad you found this place! your orders looked awesome, i just couldn’t resist the hollandaise sauce. i definitely want to go back and get some dinner like you did.

    foodeater – well…kinda. i actually did a pretty good job at picking around them. usually though, just the taste that they leave is way too much for me. the sauce on this dish did a great job at hiding the bell pepper taste though. it was soooo good!

  • Ohmygoooaaaa – this is where I’ll be next weekend!

  • Mmmmm I love Counter. You are right, they are pricey.

  • I tried this place because of your review and LOVED it.

    My friend and I had arrived there just 3 minutes after 4:00 (awkwardly, they close the kitchen from 4-5pm), but they were nice enough to seat us and take our orders anyway. Since it was still considered “brunch,” they had $3.50 mimosas…amazing (mimosas are my weakness)! I got the east side burger and my friend got the french toast. We could have been more daring, but I think it’s what our tummies were craving at the moment, but I can’t wait to go back and try something new.

    I was really delighted with this place, though. It was luckily just one block away from where I got my nails done, too. Thanks for recommending!

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