Bountiful Brunch

Well you may be feeling a little down about the fresh layer of snow this morning, but rest assured, I’ve spoken with the weather gods and they’ve promised this is just a temporary blip on the way to spring (yes, I have that kind of power.) But if you still feel sad or you don’t believe me (I can’t imagine why), then maybe you need a little pick-me-up this weekend in the form of one of, it not the best, Sunday brunches in the city.

The Tallest Poppy is a cozy little, unassuming restaurant located in the old Occidental Hotel. This is a building with a notorious and dangerous past (and let’s face it, what’s the point of histories if they aren’t notorious? No one ever says, “oh, that building just sat there for 100 years and nothing ever happened. How interesting.”) However, the building has been transformed into something far more productive called the Red Road Lodge where it has now become a rooming house and artists’ enclave. Don’t you just love a happy ending?

But the part you’re probably most interested in is the food. The restaurant is decorated in vintage mismatched chairs and tables a la Monica and Rachel’s apartment (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about; we all watched it; you did too), giving it a funky, eclectic atmosphere. Owner Talia is the type to pull up a chair when she sees a regular and just chat the morning away. I love the homey vibe. They also do things like bake all their own bread from scratch and source local ingredients. Talia tells me the plan is to eventually build a roof top garden where they can just go upstairs and pick what they need for that day.

Brunch at the The Tallest Poppy is an ever-changing affair where you never get the same thing twice. The one exception may be the divine pepper brown sugar bacon that shows up most weekends. It’s all served family style so you just sit down and eat whatever they’ve decided to make that morning. They will make you something special if you don’t eat things with faces because they’re accommodating like that. One week it might be food on sticks–I’ll never forget the scrambled egg spring roll served on a skewer I had–and another week you might get traditional blintzes or latkes. Whatever it is, it’s all delicious and fresh.

Get there early because it fills up quickly–they open at 10 am and stay open until the last top button has been undone. And bring cash. They only take cash.

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