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Sarabeth’s West
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Sarabeth’s West

Another late May post held over until August. I just sent out thank you notes to most of the restaurateurs on the 93 Plates project, and I can’t help but feel a bit lazy for waiting so long to write up Sarabeth’s. Not that there wasn’t plenty of other stuff going on between then and now, but you know, it’s been a while. I’m lucky that I took pictures of the menu this time … I don’t usually do that, but I might start, for backup.

Speaking of backup, just installed a new 500 GB HD on the Macbook from the 2 TB Time Machine. Love that thing. If you do anything related to movies and don’t have a 2 TB backup, I suggest you grab one. I wish I could keep this one full of all my old videos, but I’m nearing the end of the free space – I’ll have to delete some of the vintage Wandering Foodie footage (from 2009). I had an outtakes reel that I never really produced and would have been funny if I had, but now it would just be old.

This was the morning after my lonely jaunt to Papaya King, and my mom called me and asked me if I’d meet her at Sarabeth’s. I heard that Sarabeth’s West was better (I wonder now if it is), so I asked her to change her plans and meet me on the UES. This is a picture of us – Included is her husband, William, and his son, Andrew:

Andrew finished college when he was 12. I always expect child prodigies to be weird and antisocial or live in sick lofts and wax philosophical about life on their blog. Of course, Doogie didn’t have a blog, but it’s pretty much what they were going for with his diary being written on the computer … whoa … is Doogie Howser the inspiration for what we now call the “Weblog?” I think I just stumbled onto something huge.

Andrew was none of that – he does typography and is a regular guy. He ordered a Bloody Mary and I had a sip.

Look at that fucking delightful concoction. The white things sticking out of the Bloody are the white parts of the Celery Stalk. What they do with the green parts, I’ve no idea. I like mine more spicy, but I wasn’t ordering. I don’t usually have alcohol when I eat out because I like to spend my entertainment budget on food. Even if someone else is paying, I don’t change it up unless everyone is drinking or there’s a pairing option. I’ll pay for a pairing option myself if the sommelier is any good.

All this is thrown out the window when a good menu writer gets to me:

All right, it does say “Fruity Beginnings.” That’s not what I’m talking about – I can’t believe I pasted that into the post before I noticed that. I don’t even remember seeing that the first time. All that put aside, you know I was getting the Four Flowers Juice:

I didn’t feel the slightest bit fruity drinking that. For the record, I don’t think this place is worth the wait in line, but if you just have to go, I would get this.

I order Fries just about everywhere I go, so I had them here, too:

Someone asked me “Fries or Chocolate Cake; you have to give one up for the rest of your life, which would you choose.” There’s no such thing as a stupid question, but if you answer chocolate cake, I don’t trust you anymore. I would go so far as to say this is a dealbreaker. I’ve had some fantastic chocolate cakes in my time, bun how could you give up French Fries? It doesn’t make sense. Am I way off base here? Weigh in using the comments section.

These fries are nothing special, but I enjoyed them – tough to say how good they were, but I’ll give them a 6.5. Can’t beat the fries at The Smith and Jane, though. Best brunch fries in Manhattan at either of those places.

Going to the menu pic for the name of this one; Chicken Apple Sausage with Chunky Applesauce and Sour Cream:

Meh. At first I wished it had more flavor, then I wished I wasn’t suckered in by that menu writer again. There’s not a whole ton that is going to make a chicken sausage any better than usual. Next stop, tofu sausage.

After checking Foursquare, I was instructed that the way to go was the Pumpkin Waffle topped with Sour Cream, Pumpkin Seeds, Raisins, and Honey:

They were wrong. It was spongy and dry. The pumpkin seeds were a gimmick – they didn’t add anything to the dish. The pumpkin-ness of the waffle wasn’t as prevalent as I’d hoped it would be. The sour cream and raisins were what I would normally call its saving grace if this dish’s salvation was possible. No. No no no no. Bad waffle. Avoid.

My mom had the Goldie Lox:

Smoked Salmon, Scrambled eggs, and Cream Cheese. I don’t like salmon in anything else but a bagel, so I didn’t like this. My mom loved it, so I guess it was excellent. My mom is excited about everything when she eats out, though, so I can’t really tell. As much as she loves to cook, she loves to have someone else cook for her. Her favorite birthday presents always include me cooking something for her. Last year I made Lobster Benedicts and a minty iced watermelon juice for breakfast. Love you, mom!

William had the Green and White:

It was the only breakfast item that I enjoyed, and I wasn’t completely pumped, just pleased. Of course, there aren’t too many flavor dimensions to this dish, and it’s pretty much exactly what you can imagine making yourself.

I’ve met a lot of people who aren’t brunch fans this year; moreso in NYC than in other areas. I don’t know if I blame this so much on the bars being open so late or people’s work-hard/sleep-hard attitude. One thing that I can peg about brunches is that most of the time, you can make all brunch stuff at home with little effort. The toughest thing to accomplish might have been the Four Flower Juice, and that would simply require a blender … maybe a juicer (not as many people have juicers).

Maybe I should blame my dining companions on my experience here at Sarabeth’s – Scallions and Eggs/Salmon and Eggs are fairly uninspired choices when there’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Almond-Crusted French Toast with Cranberry-Cherry Sauce on the menu.

Maybe I’m being too hard on them. I could go back and see if I was wrong … It has been a while.

Sarabeth’s West
423 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10024
(212) 496-6280

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Dave Przybysz August 20, 2010, 11:48 am

    I could go the whole rest of my life and not eat another mediocre, ugly-ass peanut-flavored french fry. There are too many in this crazy world. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I got a batch of fries that was actually very good. When that happens, I tend to question my food-memory. Like, is it possible the fries I like never existed? That my desired french fries are some platonic ideal that can’t exist in the real world of slow service and peanut oil?

    • Rebekah August 21, 2010, 1:34 pm

      Dave, I could not agree more!! You read my mind.

  • J.Fonte August 20, 2010, 1:56 pm

    I’ve had so many awful pieces of chocolate cake. The worst is when they try to spruce it up with crap like “orange” as in orange chocolate cake, and it winds up smelling faintly of pinesol and tasting like marmalade on chocolate muffins.

    However, I’ve rarely had an awful, I mean god awful, french fry experience. Mediocre? Aplenty, but never awful, and so many moments of french fry ecstasy . . .

    French Fries Forever! LOL.

  • sherm August 20, 2010, 4:58 pm

    Not to be “that guy,” but you have the pictures of the chicken sausage and the waffles transfixed.

    On an unrelated note, it’s nice to see you back blogging regularly. After the post about taking June off and focusing on other things, I thought maybe you’d start to post only once in a while. Glad to see I was wrong, though. Funny shit, man.

  • sherm August 20, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Did I say “transfixed?” I meant “I’m an idiot.” Either way, they’re switched around. Let me go read the dictionary for a while now.

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