Adventures of a Gastronome in Training (GIT)

One amateur foodie's quest for culinary enlightenment. Musings on cooking, dining, food products, basically all things edible are fair game.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Brunch at Bubby's

I have never really been a "go out for breakfast" kind of girl. I have always preferred lazy mornings at home eating my pancakes and waffles in my pj’s while reading the paper. Marty, conversely, loves to go out for breakfast. Over the years, we have spent many a morning trying to get the other to see the light in our respective preferences. In this case, Marty’s persistence has won me over. Actually, to a point where I have ceased my protests and accepted weekend breakfasts out of the home as part of our routine.

Since moving to New York, I am a bit ashamed to admit, I‘ve been to Bubby’s Pie Company for breakfast nearly every weekend. Like Norma’s in Midtown and Sarabeth’s on the Upper West Side, Bubby’s in TriBeCa seems to be in every guide to NYC. Tourists are lured in with promises of a delicious, yet overpriced brunch and a touch of celebrity spotting on the side. Mixed with the fanny packs and subway maps, there are a host of neighborhood folks ranging from the Bugaboo stroller set to the perfectly disheveled hair and indoor sunglasses crowd. Sorry to all the celebrity stalkers out there, I am yet to recognize any paparazzi prey. But, I can vouch for Bubby’s decent, though not exceptional, brunch.

When trying to determine why Bubby’s has been in such heavy breakfast rotation in our household, I nixed contributing, but not deciding factors such as the location (close to our home), the coffee (damn fine cup of coffee), and the availability (no reservations and waits have been relatively short with the longest ~40 minutes for two people). I decided it’s the cheese grits ($5.95). I’ve loved grits since I was a little girl visiting my family in Georgia. Then, the blandness appealed to the girl who refused sauce, of any sort, on anything. More recently, I honed my love of grits when we lived in Atlanta at my favorite brunch spot anywhere, Babette’s Cafe. Their cheese grits and fruit pancakes were utter perfection. I have never had pancakes so light, yet with texture, and the grits, those grits, ooey gooey cheesy heaven. I digress – Bubby’s cheese grits do not duplicate such mastery, but put forth a solid rendition worthy of repeat consumption.

Other dishes at Bubby’s can be hit or miss. I enjoy the hearty portions of thick slab bacon. Unfortunately, they have stopped serving the beloved smoked chicken and apple sausage. The occasional special of Swedish pancakes with fruit compote (~$14) has been consistently satisfying. However, the pancakes range from okay to disastrous. I once ordered the sourdough blueberry pancakes (~$13), and they were uneatable. When they first arrived they were undercooked with pockets of wet batter hidden below the surface. I sent them back only to receive a second set in the same condition. The sour cream pancakes (~$13) are safe, but still very dense and heavy. The Eggsadilla ($13.95) is a tasty spin on a breakfast quesadilla with chunky guacamole, pureed salsa, black beans, and sour cream topping egg and cheese filled flour tortillas.

Bottom line, Bubby’s should not be considered a destination. It is however, a pleasant, decent breakfast experience that is a little hard on the wallet, but still manages to keep me coming back – well, at least as long as the cheese grits stay on the menu.


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Jennie/Female. Lives in United States/Jennie Auster/New York, speaks English. Eye color is blue.