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December 5th, 2010 · No Comments

Two years ago I swore off Freemans and I’m pleased to report that staying on the wagon has been easy. I haven’t been the least bit tempted. Not once. Until, that is, Peels opened. Yes, it’s an entirely separate restaurant, but it’s owned and run by the same folks behind Freemans. Needless to say, I was conflicted. I initially turned a cheek to the yummy sounding brunch. I even resisted the divine take away counter despite walking by during a serious snack attack. I was doing great, until my friend, who just happens to be a connoisseur of all things delicious, told me the Peels biscuit is not to be missed. I held off for a couple of weeks, but this morning, I fell off the wagon and met a friend there for brunch.

The staff at Peels are close cousins of their Freemans’ brethren. Their clothes are hip. Their smiles are forced. They fill up the space with a not-so congenial air. The patrons eating at Peels either suffer the same affliction as the servers or they’ve inhaled too much tainted oxygen. In my book, brunch is meant to be a happy event – you’re with friends, you’re laughing, you’re eating comfort food, and the whole day stretches out ahead of you. At a place like Jane, the crowd seems more in line with my Sunday sentiment. There’s a cheerful din. At Peels, not so much.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can say that my limited foray into the brunch menu yielded positive results (see, I can be reasonable). There’s a build-a-biscuit option whose conception might be considered too much of a ploy if the buttermilk biscuits weren’t so darn good. Flaky, buttery, and dense enough to handle whatever you choose to pile on – these biscuits are winners. They’ve got just the right consistency to sop up yolk, gravy, or melted cheese.

An egg white omelet with spinach and goat cheese had the perfect balance of filling to egg – a subtlety that it often lost in the brunch world of more=better. Oh, and the sticky bun? That was pretty darn good too.

I took a biscuit home to my hubby and built-him his very own breakfast in our very own kitchen. I served it with a smile. It didn’t seem that hard.

Neighborhood: Lower East Side

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