Sunday, March 9, 2008

9th Street Market: Another LES gem

We went to a place called Ninth Street Market in the Lower East Side on an impulse sunday brunch outing (great winter weather you see). This place hardly has any markings but was still easy to spot because of the large group of people waiting outside. We wrote our names down on the pad hanging outside and walked around exploring the quaint shops in the hip east village neighborhood. The wait of 50 minutes was longer than expected, but the food was definitely worth it. A scruffy, bearded guy came out at regular intervals to announce the names of the next table. When we went in, we realized that he was the (quite friendly) waiter for all tables.

The foodie's breakfast toastada came with a crisp base, topped with onion, beans, cheese and two poached eggs. The home fries were spicy and crisp. The photographer's special omelette of the day was fluffy and stuffed with chorizo. It came with a side of fresh-from-the-oven bread with the best strawberry jam ever (most of which the foodie polished off). The orange juice was fresh and the service was attentive, our bottomless coffee cup was re-filled constantly.


The place is cozy and has a fireplace for an added measure of coziness. However you immediately see the reason for the long wait - it is tiny! It probably can't seat more than 20 people. The photos above cover about 98% of the floor area of the restaurant. Fresh flowers, pictures of Indian Gods (including scenes from the Mahabharata!) on the walls, and a generally run-down decor give it a very exotic neighbourhood cafe vibe. The music selection is hip remixes of old-school 80's hits. Our total bill including gratuity was $15 per person and included unlimited coffee/tea, juice and an entree.

We recommend the ninth street market brunch only if you don't mind waiting for at least 45 mins. Avoid going in big groups.

Food: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10

9th Street Market, 337 East 9th St. (between 1st and 2nd aves), New York, NY 10003

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