dish buzz: friend of a farmer

Friend of a Farmer - Union SquareWhen I learned there was a tasty brunch option set within what is meant to replicate an old country home, I knew I had my next must-try location for my list.

On Sunday, my family and I set out to try Friend of a Farmer, located just North of Union Square and slightly South of Gramercy Park. We arrived at 11 and learned the typical 10AM-is-more-safe-rule applies here, as there was a line out the door. Check in and put your name on a list? No no… but the system was orderly, the line moved at a decent pace, and I can’t say any complaints here on that.

Once our table was ready, we wound up the staircase to the main seating area on the second floor. The floor split between two main rooms was quite large, although it was still packed to the brim with as many small tables as they could squeeze into the square footage available. They immediately brought us a basket of cornbread accompanied by apple butter. The apple butter was fresh – very chunky and simple. The cornbread was sweet – very appropriate for Sunday brunch.

Pumpkin Pancakes - Friend of a FarmerSeeing as it is fall, I opted for their walnut-filled pumpkin pancakes, which although good were a pretty scant portion for their $12.95 price tag. I did like the way the walnuts were included in the batter for the pancakes as opposed to being added on top. My mother ordered the buttermilk pancakes, which were filled with cinnamon and minced apples. It sounded intriguing… but the report? Edges were good but a soggy center. I was disappointed that a restaurant priding itself on the freshest offerings did not have real maple syrup. Instead we received a small container of faux syrup, with any additional syrup coming at an additional $1.50. Definite minus.

It was a cute place, but cute does not justify a wait and a hefty price tag. Not when there are places with more included for less cost – and better food at that. Not bad, but I can’t say this one will be high on my list to visit again.

Friend of a Farmer – 77 Irving Place, between 18th and 19th Streets – 212.447.2188

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