Total Bill: $55.00 for two
Two girls–one a vegetarian, the other pregnant–go to Russ & Daughters Cafe one Saturday afternoon. It’s an unlikely destination for the pair, given that the eatery’s caviar and smoked fish specialties are off limits to them. But the fact it still turned out to be one of the more memorable brunches in some time is a testament to Russ & Daughters’ solid menu.
It starts with a one to two hour wait, something we’re decreasingly inclined to do as we get older. But this place is pretty one of a kind, so just get there at 1o:00 am on the weekends to minimize your wait time. No reservations accepted.
The smoked salmon boards were so tempting–almost every table had some version of it ordered. But fear not if, like us, you can’t enjoy the fish.
We started with the potato latkes, fried extremely crispy on the outside, but fully tender on the inside, refreshingly paired with sour cream and applesauce. Glor had the chilled borscht beet soup, which comes served a deep-blood magenta. The flavor is as bold as its color, and something I’d try to make at home myself if my beets would just grow a little faster.
I veered to the dessert menu with the babka french toast, with a swirl of chocolate baked in and topped with strawberries and sour cream. So robust and a perfect mix of bitterness and sweetness, you won’t need a big slice to satisfy your sweet tooth.
We also shared perhaps one of my favorite dishes that morning–an everything bagel with horseradish dill cream cheese. That cream cheese–that spicy kick and earthy dill. Let’s just say it’s good the cafe near my work doesn’t offer it.
I’ll be back once peanut is old enough to enjoy a pickle so I can get all the smoked salmon I want.