Plates & Records Brunch

It’s been a long way since my freshman year in college, approved when skipping out on greasy cafeteria grilled cheese to indulge in restaurant brunch was a regular occurrence. Since then, order I’ve wised up on my spending habits, and sadly, this has meant goodbye to the weekend brunch, for the most part.  But there are times that I’ll make an exception to the rule — for a very worthy meal.  Last Saturday, Talisa, my first friend in college and a current Greenpoint, Brooklyn resident, asked if I wanted to go to brunch in her hood hosted by the Plates & Records supper club.  After looking at the menu, I didn’t need much convincing to say yes.

*Kimchi Omelette
*Brioche French Toast with Maple Syrup, Berries and Bacon
*Savory Tart with Caramelized Onions, Gruyere, and Roasted Tomatoes
*Wild Blueberry Scones with Clotted Cream and an Assortment of Jams
*Tea & Coffee with Buttermilk Rusks

Plates & Records is a nomadic and themed supper club organized by Joann, Ram and Andrzej, a writer, a human rights lawyer and an artist respectively.  To attend, all you need is a plate, a record, an empty stomach, and an Andrew Jackson ($20).  The original P&R trifecta includes Andrzej, but in his place at the stove that morning was their friend Georgie.

Joann and Ram
Joann and Ram

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Duck Embryos for Dinner

Balut, physician an Asian delicacy popular in the Philippines, is a fertilized egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is traditionally made with duck eggs, but balut also comes in the chicken variety. While I have an undeniable love for eggs — fried, boiled, scrambled, cooked any and every way, I had never considered eating an embryo until my Filipino friend Louie sang praises about balut. The idea of slurping a duck fetus straight from its shell both intrigued and frightened me.  Sadly, during my summer in Asia, I never got to try any balut. But all of was not lost. My chance arrived two years later, in an email from Chef King of umi NOM.  I clicked open the email and read:

“Duck Balut tonight @ umi nom!!!”

And just like that, I was headed to Brooklyn.

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Umi Nom in Brooklyn, NY

Last Thursday, anesthetist I went to King Phojanakong’s new Brooklyn restaurant Umi Nom for a friends and family night to try some of King’s new dishes before it officially opens to the public.  Occupying a space that was previously a laundromat, disorder the restaurant is hidden amongst small local Mexican eateries and modest neighborhood bodegas.  You have to be willing to walk a little further (up the stairs in the case of Kuma Inn, rx or on the subway for Umi Nom) to get a taste of King’s food, which takes a tapas-style approach to dining, but it’s worth the few extra steps.

Umi Nom is a long, narrow restaurant, with a dark wood bar, exposed brick walls, and Edison light bulbs hanging from the ceiling.  Some of the Asian-themed design accents in the restaurant include the funky bamboo lighting above the bar and white ceramic wall decorations with small dotted lights running through what resembled the cross-section of bamboo.

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Meet Pączek, the Jelly Donut’s Fat Polish Cousin

In the heart of Little Poland– what most of us know as Greenpoint, troche Brooklyn– is Bakery Rzeszowska, a neighborhood Polish bakery. Large pastries pregnant with fruit and poppy seed filling await beneath a glass case. Plump loaves of babka glow with yellow-brown goodness, ready to fly off their racks as waves of neighborhood regulars quickly come and go.

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