this afternoon, eLs and i tried the lower east side hotspot essex.
first of all, i need to recommend that no one ever try to go to this place without making reservations. fortunately we had them for 2:30, and were seated by about 2:45 (after enduring a lot of 'excuse me' and 'can i get through here?' due to the very narrow space between the entrance and the check-in). although waiting was difficult, we were seated upstairs where it seemed like the service was more easy-going than the ridiculously crowded downstairs.
i've always had reservations about this place because of its brunch special. it is $16 for a meal and three drinks (mimosas, screwdrivers, or bloody marys). it seemed to me that such a place could not possibly offer quality food, as its main draw was obviously its price and drink special.
i was wrong. i had the three eggs any way (scrambled) with tempeh bacon, fruit, mixed greens, and home fries. the tempeh bacon in and of itself was enough to change my mind - long strips of tempeh seasoned perfectly to match the delicious scrambled eggs and greens. paired with the delicious bread-type appetizer we were given (still not sure exactly what it was), it was an unbelievably delicious brunch.
paired with a walk up to union square, and an unsuccessful stint at shopping, essex is an excellent way to start the day.