Brunch is a big New York weekend thing, as far as I can gather. It doesn’t seem to have hit the rest of the country as hard as it has here. You know, except for like Mother’s Day and Easter. I, personally, have been a devotee of the meal since I discovered “drunk brunch” while living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Now, I’m a little older, a little wiser, and a little less capable of drinking in the morning. Thus, my brunch establishment requirements have shifted from unlimited drinks included in the meal to good food, excellent coffee, and possibly an excellent mimosa.
Park Slope’s Perch Cafe offers just such a brunch. Its small but powerful bird-themed menu (Perch Toast, Bird in a Nest, etc.) delivers a lovely selection of breakfasty things, sandwiches, salads and side dishes. I have not been disappointed with anything I’ve tried. I even got an egg sandwich last time and I liked it even though I hate egg sandwiches. Because Perch is more consistently a coffee shop than anything else, the coffee is what pushes the restaurant past other brunch places in the area. It’s real good. Additionally, the mimosas are quite nice, with a top layer of pulp from fresh squeezed orange juice.
Perch‘s design fits well with the slew of hip eateries on the 5th Avenue strip. The store is sleek, red-themed and clean. The coffee mugs are big and red and have little white birds on them. There is a beautiful patio in the back with tables topped with fire-colored umbrellas. The last time I was there, though, it was literally teeming with infants so I sat at the bar.
Generally, the service is okay. On several occasions, it was just really bad. I think they are terminally understaffed and get surprised by busy times like Labor Day, when no one was at work and everyone wanted breakfast. Nevertheless, given how pleasant the rest of the experience is, a bit of a leisurely breakfast never killed anyone.
Perch Cafe & Bar
365 5th Avenue between 5th & 6th Streets
Park Slope, Brooklyn
- Great coffee
- Perch Toast is delicious
- Egg sandwiches are good even if you don’t like eggs
- Deeply adorable
- Nice waitstaff
- Spotty service
- Technically, there is no stove or kitchen
- A little pricey, especially the mimosas ($8)