New York’s Oddest Brunches (Part 1)

Totchos, one of the offerings at Nitehawk Cinema (Image: Nitehawk Cinema)

Ahh, Sunday morning. The smells of fresh coffee and bacon mingle with the intoxicating vanilla-tinged scent of waffles hot from the iron. Time to kick back with the Sunday papers or the pleasant chatter of good friends… break!

If the above picture of weekend brunch is too staid and stodgy for you — if you crave something with a little more grunge or excitement — then read on.

Spoons, toons, and booze. Those are the ingredients of brunch at Nitehawk Cinema, which seeks to recapture the cartoon-watching-cum-cereal Saturday mornings of your childhood but with cocktails thrown in. All of the cereals featured on the all-you-can-stomach buffet are the sugar-laden, cavity-producing brands — Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes — that many of us were fed as children. And the cartoons, some of which date back to the 1930s, were eventually banned from the small screen because they were deemed too violent or racist. Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn.

If you’re looking for more traditional brunch fare, you can actually order bacon and eggs at Libation‘s boozy brunch, but be prepared to consume it to the tune of floor-shakingly loud electronic dance music. Except for the light from glow sticks, the interiors are pretty dim, so bring along a flashlight. Libation,137 Ludlow Street, 212-529-2153.

The most peculiar thing about Jack’s Wife Freda is its name: The immigrant husband and wife that own and run the restaurant are Dean and Maya Jankelowitz respectively. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner, any of which may be ordered at any time. Among the breakfast items, you will find the listing Maya’s Breakfast Bowl, ostensibly named for Dean’s wife Maya, and consisting of eggs scrambled or poached, red quinoa, kale, spaghetti squash, roasted tomato, radish, and avocado. Jack’s Wife Freda has locations in Soho (the original), the West Village, Chelsea, and Williamsburg, as well as two in Tokyo.

Some brunches come as parts of larger entertainment packages. Exhibit A is brunch at Maimonides Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets’ High-A affiliate. The $49-per-person brunch tab also includes admission to the game plus a Cyclones hat. The brunch itself, which includes unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, and beer, takes place on the roof of the stadium, which affords “unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, Coney Island amusements, Lower Manhattan and more.” Maimonides Park is located just off the Coney Island boardwalk at 1904 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-449-8497.

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