By Grace Whitney
Don’t we all wish we grew up on a little home on the prairie? Home, home on the range? Haven’t you always wanted to have a home-cooked meal in a quiet little cottage with rickety stairs, served by kind hosts?
If your answer to these questions is no, if you’re looking for a quick, cheap, meaningless brunch, Friend of a Farmer is not the place for you.
At Friend of a Farmer, that country life that seems so far away is brought right here, to the heart of Manhattan, just off Union Square.
The experience starts with the service. Always greeted with an hour-long line on weekend mornings, even on a Wednesday the service was slow. Granted, our group was large, and when it did come, it was with a big smile and good humor from our waiters. And hey it’s not like brunch in the country comes in the blink of an eye! We let it slide.
From its adorably quaint décor to the completely delectable Salmon Bennie, by the end of brunch, there was little left to be desired. The space itself is inviting and cute, with a bar and outdoor patio on the ground floor and dining room located on the second storey. The Salmon Bennie, a twist on the classic brunch staple eggs benedict, served in a skillet, was piled with mounds of smoked salmon to replace Canadian bacon. While the English muffin was a bit rough, the eggs, soft and runny, were perfect, wonderfully complimented by a truly shining example of hollandaise and rich salty salmon. On the side comes either toast, fruit or homefries and all of the above are excellent. The cup of fruit is fresh, piled high with melon, berries and pineapple.
Though the prices are a little steep (the eggs were $14.25) it’s well worth it. Where Friend of a Farmer really shines is quality.
If you can spend the morning enjoying a sense of earthiness and wholesomeness that is rarely found in the middle of the city, you should head straight to Friend of a Farmer. So sit back, enjoy the crates of limes and sweet potatoes in the corners, the tiny glass jars of butter, jam, salt and syrup that come with the meal, the creaky wooden staircase, the antique decorations on the walls: it’s all a piece of that country childhood we all wish we had.
Located on 77 Irving St, just down the street from Gramercy Park, Friend of a Farmer serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 8am to 11:30am, weekends 9:30am to 3:30pm, as well as lunch and dinner until 10pm. FriendofaFarmerNYC.com