Friend of a Farmer – an Incredibly Expensive Omelette

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a place that serves brunch on a weekday in NYC? I don’t mean breakfast and I don’t mean lunch. I mean an 11 am meal consisting of eggs, coffee, and possibly a mimosa. And in a place that isn’t a diner (though LORDY knows I love myself a diner around 2 am…nothing like a steaming plate of fries at a New York City diner to prevent a morning hangover). I was really at my wit’s end whilst setting up a brunch meeting midweek, and was lucky enough to stumble upon:
Friend of a Farmer. This Gramercy area restaurant offers an all day menu, and includes delicious looking bunch options. The only issue was that it looked a little expensive – not expensive as in”I can’t afford to eat there,” just expensive as in “for how much they are charging, those eggs had better be cooked in gold skillets and served with an entire truffle on the side.” But, there was no other place of which I knew that offered such a nice setting for a weekday brunch. 
And it really was a nice setting – somewhat of an English Cottage right in the middle of the city. There was a nice outdoor cafe but we opted to eat upstairs, in what was a mixture of Granny’s cottage and Alice in Wonderland’s home. It was a charming, extremely feminine effect. 
 Our order was taken promptly, and soon our food arrived. 
My dining companion had the Eggs Benedict with potatoes. He said the eggs were good, and I can personally vouch for the potatoes. They were crispy without, steamy and mealy within. An excellent fried potato – although, truth be told, a couple of onions thrown in there wouldn’t have killed them.
A couple of fried onions might solve the problems in the Middle East, quite frankly.
 Smoked Salmon Scramble with Tomatoes, Onions and Cream Cheese. This is the part where all my smugness goes away. Because this egg dish – a combination I have long loved – was the best version I have ever had…EVER. Salty, fatty smoked salmon was velvety in places where the heat had not touched it, and pleasantly firmer and flaky where it had touched the hot pan. The eggs were soft and light. The tomatoes were a light, acidic touch that tasted rather savory next to the sweetly caramelized onions. And there were thick, generous pockets of rich cream cheese that were heated through until warm but not runny. Is there anything better than cream cheese, lox and onion? Only the fact that when you add Tabasco to it, it makes the whole thing tangy and a little spicy, which makes the flavors of the mix ins all the more prominent and delicious. 
I could have gotten my meal with potatoes, but I went with a salad (hey, I was having cream cheese, people…I needed to fit the health in SOMEWHERE, right?). This was basic, but a good basic. Fresh veggies, lots of cukes and tomatoes, and a creamy, mustardy, tangy and pungent vinaigrette. I am not one for subtle dressings, so this did it for me. 
And the whole meal did it for me – in a way. It was delicious, served quickly and in lovely surroundings, but…well, it was just to darned expensive. The meal neared $40 after tax and tip, and that was just too much for 2 egg dishes. Even though one of them WAS the best LEO I have ever had in NYC. However, if you had an expense account, I could highly recommend this restaurant. 
After all…where the heck else can you have a nice weekday brunch in NYC?
Friend of a Farmer on Urbanspoon


  1. JustinM says:

    At least it doesn't look like you had to wait an hour for a table.

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Justin – AGREED! That would have put me over the TOP

  3. I used to eat lunch there occasionally when I worked in that neighborhood. The lines were pretty serious at lunchtime. I recall the food being quite good, but a little pricey, even way back when…


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