Instead of waiting hours on line for weekend brunch at that one, overwhelmingly popular spot, why not hedge your bets and head to UrbanSpace Vanderbilt? The stylish, new food hall adjacent to Grand Central Terminal just launched a killer brunch program from 9am- 5pm on Saturdays & Sundays, and all their vendors are in on the action. So if a mob has already formed at Roberta’s for their Speckenegg Pizza, you can always wander a few stands over to Mayhem & Stout for Pulled Pork Donuts or dim sum at Hong Kong Street Cart instead. Here’s a rundown of UrbanSpace Vanderbilt’s stand-out, mid-morning bites, and keep your eyes open for special mashups; two different vendors will team up on a special, collaborative dish each weekend!
Roberta’s: Can’t stand the thought of waiting hours for a table the culinary destination that has become Roberta’s in Bushwick? Why bother when you can grab one of their legendary pizzas in Urbanspace Vanderbilt? No, seriously. They’re hawking egg-capped pies for brunch all weekend long.
Mayhem & Stout: Known for their sloppy, braised meat sandwiches, Mayhem isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to brunch. So if omelets or bagels just don’t do it for you in the morning, bring your outsized appetite to their Vanderbilt outpost for Pulled Pork Donuts (yes, really!) with maple sriracha or Short Rib and Egg Sandwiches, paired with pints of Brass Monkey’s (i.e., orange juice spiked with lager) because it’s never too early to booze on a weekend.
Red Hook Lobster Pound: One of the UrbanSpace group’s longest running vendors, Red Hook Lobster Pound is getting into the brunchtime spirit with fresh Egg Omelets, filled with crème fraiche, chives, gruyere, basil, and of course, chunks of sweet Maine lobster, served with a side of smoked apple bacon on a grilled, top split New England bun. And be sure to pair one with a zesty Lobster Claw Bloody Mary, made with distilled, Korean soju.
Mimi’s Hummus: The Middle Eastern egg dish, Shakshuka, has been trending in a big way, and the Israeli-inspired Mimi’s is presenting three different iterations of this traditional, brunch-friendly dish — Traditional (tomato stew with grilled onions, topped with sunny side eggs), Merguez (paved with spicy lamb sausage), and Green; finished with braised swiss chard and tangy crumbles of sheep’s milk feta.
Sigmund’s: Specializing in so much more than pretzels, Sigmund’s is offering a massive brunch menu that includes a Norwegian Smoked Salmon Sandwich, a Corned Beef and Fried Egg Platter, and Kielbasa, Merguez and Smoked Chicken Sausage, served with sauerkraut, roasted herbed potatoes and ok, a squishy salted pretzel. They’re also serving an appealing trio of cocktails, such as a Bloody Mary with horseradish-infused vodka, classic or raspberry Mimosas, and steaming mugs of hot spiced Gluhwein.
La Palapa: Chef-owner Barbara Sibley is going well beyond tacos (although she’s serving those too, filled with egg, chorizo, cheese and guacamole) during brunch, with an expansive Mexican menu that includes classic Chilaquiles (tortillas baked with salsa verde, crema, queso and scrambled eggs), Huevos Rancheros (tortillas layered with black beans, eggs and chorizo), and even agave-sweetened Granola, sprinkled atop Greek yogurt.
Hong Kong Street Cart: The crowds that gather at New York’s best dim sum parlors can be rather overwhelming, so why not try the Asian bits and bites at Hong Kong Street Cart instead, whose rotating selection includes favorites like Shrimp Shumai, Pork Belly Buns, Egg Custard Tarts, and steamy Soup Dumplings? Thankfully, you no longer have to jet down to Chinatown for great dim sum.