Brunch spots these days can be viewed as on a continuum with the most traditional brunches at one end, the least traditional at the other.
Since nothing is more traditional at brunchtime than the egg, you might reason that a brunch locale that serves only eggs represents the height of traditionality. Yet there’s nothing traditional about the Egg Shop, which is all eggs, all the time. There are interesting egg sandwiches (beet-cured egg, avocado, crispy shallots, za’atar, lemon, and feta, on sourdough), bowls, and a couple of filling burritos (scrambled eggs with spicy pinto beans, corn, jack cheese, sour cream, avocado, pickled onion, jalapeño, and salsa roja). Coffee from Café Integral is offered, but cocktails and wine are available for those for whom brunch isn’t brunch without booze. Egg Shop has two locations, one in Nolita (151 Elizabeth Street, 646-666-0810), and one in Williamsburg (138 N. 8th Street, Brooklyn, 646-787-7502).
Speaking of the indispensability of booze to brunch, two restaurants in the West Village are taking that notion to the bank. At Madam Ji and Carroll Place, both on Bleecker Street, patrons are presented with the challenge of quaffing down as many brunch cocktails as they can in a fixed period of time. At Madam Ji, the time limit is one hour, while Carroll Place allows 90 minutes. Madam Ji affords the added curiosity of brunching on Indian food, though the choices in that department (a lamb burger slathered with masala aïoli and accompanied by a tangle of curly fries scented with garam masala powder) are unorthodox. Madam Ji, 154 Bleecker Street, 212-875-1405; Carroll Place, 157 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan Sts.), 212-260-1700.
The name The Butcher’s Daughter might lead non-initiates to assume that this is a steak place (like father, like daughter). But a glance at the menu reveals that the daughter is a renegade who has eschewed daddy’s carnivorous ways. In other words, the restaurant is vegan. That means the sausage in the hearty “country breakfast” (which also features roasted potatoes, sourdough toast, and broiled tomato) is the “impossible” type, though if you want tofu scramble in place of the over-easy hen’s eggs that come with the dish, you are required to forfeit $2 extra. Pancakes are fashioned of rice flour and almond milk and drizzled with coconut. The Butcher’s Daughter has locations in Nolita, the West Village, Williamsburg, and — should you be heading for the Golden West any time soon — Venice, Calif.