Jul 30 2009
We took an epic walk around downtown a few Sunday’s back – started out in the Meatpacking District where we checked out the new Standard Hotel and wound up on the Lower East Side for brunch. There was a 45-minute wait at Essex so we headed over to Bondi Road (Rivington nr Suffolk), the Aussie sister of Sunburnt Cow, and despite a wait for tables we were seated right away at the front bar. This place is tiny, loud w/ indie rock and packed w/ LES hipster-types who are hell-bent on continuing the previous night’s festivities. It makes for a fun party atmosphere. The deal here is $18 for a menu item + unlimited drinks (cash only). The beauty here is in the optionality — as in your choice of mimosas, bloody mary’s, Foster’s, screwdrivers or greyhounds (vodka and grapefruit juice). We went with the greyhounds which proved to be strong and refreshing. There is slightly less choice with the food (eggs benedict, an omelette of the day, fish & chips, banana pancakes, a steak sandwich and the famed burger w/ the lot), but who are you kidding, you’re not really here for the food, anyways. That is, except maybe for the burger, which is what I had. It is by far the most unique burger I’ve ever tasted. It stood about six inches high and was piled with bacon, fried egg, fried onions, beets, cheese, lettuce, tomato and pineapple. It was juicy, it was sweet, it was gigantic, it was well-prepared, and was probably the best novelty burger I’ve ever tasted. The beef is an afterthought on this bad boy. There’s no LaFrieda or Black Label in the equation here. In fact, at first, I thought they had forgotten to add the beef patty to my burger, but sure enough it was there buried under mounds of toppings. We made it through about 4 greyhounds each in an hour’s time. One thing to note about Bondi Road (and Sunburnt Cow, too, for that matter) since there is usually a long wait and the place is small, you will be asked after about an hour or so to give up your table and continue your AYCD session in the bar area. Another unique item worth giving a shot is the $3 oyster shooters. They are spicy and are loaded with oysters. Sans the oyster shooters, our bill came out to about $40 not including tip. It’s hard to say which is the better AYCD brunch between Blockheads and Bondi Road. If you’re looking to grab a champagne brunch in the neighborhood (there are 6 Blockheads locations), then there is no better value or brunch spot than Blockheads. If you have friends in town and are looking for a party atmosphere, then Bondi Road is your place. While you get a bit more food for your money at Blockheads depending on what you order (Jill’s Blockhead’s omelette was more substantial than her Bondi Road one), the large selection of alcohol, including beer, is a huge plus and draw for Bondi Road. Is it worth the $7 extra dollars?