After a million different eggs Benedicts, home-fries, and cheesy grits, a girl starts to long for something different in her weekly brunch. That’s why when my parents came down to NYC from their home in Vermont to visit their little darling, I opted for something more refined. We chose Meme Mediterranean, in the West Village.
The menu was extensive, including sections for brunch, tapas, and entrees. My dad, a sucker for the finer things in life, ordered the Lobster and Eggs: with Maine lobster-potato hash, two scrambled eggs, bacon, spicy hollandaise, and brioche. My mom and I opted for slightly lighter fare, choosing the Octopus Salad: with chickpeas, mesclun fennel salad, and tomato lemon vinaigrette. Then there was the Combination Platter of Mediterranean tapas: with babaghanoush, hummus, beets, tabouli, falafel, matbucha, carrots, and roast peppers.
As usual, my mom and I would share our plates; because why have one meal when you can have two?
I must admit, though, that as we waited for our food I looked at the table next to us and got a major case of orderer’s regret. The particular enviable diner who I surveyed had received the Shakshuka Moroccan Breakfast: three eggs baked with tomato, onion, peppers, spices, tahini, pita, and merguez sausage. It was fragrant, colorful, and looked totally mouthwatering. But I swallowed my jealousy and waited for my meal.
Once our food arrived I had absolutely nothing to complain about. We were started off with some complimentary bread, accompanied by butter and blueberry jam. Our dishes came shortly thereafter, all beautifully arranged and looking absolutely scrumptious.
The Lobster and Eggs tasted exactly how it sounds: decadent and rich. It’s definitely a dish for those who don’t mind indulging a bit.
The octopus in the salad was tender and bright, coated in the light citrusy vinaigrette. Though octopus is absolutely delicious, it’s always a gamble, because the tentacled treat has a tendency to be easily mismanaged and become rubbery and tough. This dish did not suffer that fate, and instead was lovely and delicate, punctuated perfectly with the subtlety of the chickpeas.
The Combination Platter had all the elements one could hope for, with the falafel standing out as the exceptional star. Everything was clearly made in house from scratch, which made for a fresh and tasty spread.
Perhaps the only caveat about Meme was, like many restaurants in Manhattan, it felt a bit cramped. It seemed as though each time I leaned backwards I bumped into a server or fellow customer. Unfortunately, though, this is the norm when you choose to live on an over-crowded island.
If you’re looking for a brunch experience slightly off the beaten path, but still stacked with classics for your enjoyment, pay Meme a visit. Everything was fresh and tasty–it wasn’t a meal that blew my mind, but it certainly satisfied.