Tuesday, July 13, 2010
On the way home from the amazing 4th of July fireworks event in New York City, I had one of those funny "only in New York City" moments. My husband was out visiting and we had earlier seen a friend and former coworker post on Facebook that he was also visiting the city. We'd been at the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog eating contest that morning so didn't see his post until 5:00 p.m. Figuring it was too late to catch him we continued on with our plans. So, what happened? We randomly run into him while exiting the L at 1st Ave and 14th Street. Crazy, right? Out of 8.3 million people we ran into the one we knew.
I swear there's a reason to this story. As we continued our conversation on how crazy it was, the odds, and also updates on how life was, we discovered that he was visiting his girlfriend who happened to only be living blocks from my apartment. Since it was late and we were all hot (muggy, humid subway) we concluded that we should have brunch the following morning. A call around 11ish was arranged (hey, we're not all morning people.)
Insert mention of Ciao for Now. Ciao for Now happens to be across the street from our friend's place so it became our meeting spot. Even though it was a Monday, Ciao for Now was kind enough to offer their Brunch Menu (it was after all, a "holiday," sort of). I ordered the Hungbuster.
Hand grated potato, rosti style with two sunnyside up eggs on top. Add pork, chicken or veggie sausage or bacon — $2
What did I think? The eggs were phenomenal. The bacon exceeded my expectations. I love bacon but I find that so many places can't seem to get it right - at least, what I deem to be right. It was perfectly chewy and crispy all at once and thick cut. I'd return just for that. I can't say as many positive things about the potato. We had a discussion over at Serious Eats about hash browns vs. home fries. The conclusion from our site and discussion was that we preferred home fries when done right but ordered hash browns at places that hadn't mastered home fries.
Sadly, Ciao for Now has not mastered their version of "hash browns." They were mushy and honestly had an odd flavor. Sad.
I still give Ciao for Now a thumbs up. I visited their cute little shop this morning to pick up some cupcakes for a tasting and while their hand grated potatoes were a fail I have a hard time not loving this place. They are ever so friendly and I can tell the owners take pride in their food. The cupcakes weren't too shabby either. The cream cheese frosting on the red velvet cupcake was actually close to perfection.