By Dane Feldman
Photos by Dane Feldman.
Community Food & Juice is located on Broadway between 112th and 113th, which is essentially just across the street from Columbia University. Since my initial review of Community back in October, I have dined here for brunch several more times. Each time has been as enjoyable as the time before it, which has kept me coming back for more.
The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert, but I’ve yet to venture away from brunch. It’s likely that Community should be on my radar for all meals, but there are so many great places in the neighborhood to go to even for brunch that it can be difficult to justify returning to Community for every single meal.
With that said, however, the brunch here is better than almost every place I have been and the food is consistently delicious, fresh, and inventive. My favorite dish so far is still the Country Breakfast: two eggs any style (I like mine sunny side up), maple sugar cured ham, carrot hash browns, and a whole wheat buttermilk biscuit.
The last time I dined here, our waitress brought out fresh raspberry jam to go with the biscuit. It was hands down the best jam I’ve tasted in my life—not too sweet, not too tart, and just the right amount of grittiness in the texture. The jam is homemade, so be sure to ask for some on the side.
Community’s take on eggs benedict is an impressive one and we all know how much I covet a good serving of eggs benny. Their take? Two perfectly poached eggs and hollandaise, but with that delicious maple sugar cured ham atop their deliciously flaky whole wheat buttermilk biscuit. Sorry, English muffins. The biscuit is in.
Community Food & Juice serves all sorts of drinks. The restaurant boasts a full bar, a soda of the day as well as other soft drinks, a variety of coffees, hot chocolate, tea, specialty cocktails, and even virgin cocktails.
The cocktails are seasonal and the brunch options are looking pretty tasty these days. After hemming and hawing over the Sunshine Screw (fresh OJ, fresh carrot juice, and vodka on the rocks) and the Hot Buttered Rum (rum, market apple cider, warm maple butter, and cinnamon), I went a completely different route and ordered the Cranberry Margarita: tequila, muddled fresh cranberries, lime juice, and simple syrup on the rocks. Easily one of the tastiest margaritas I’ve had, it was tart, slightly sweet, fresh, and strong.
As the winter drags on and folks are forced to dine inside, the wait for a table has gotten longer. I’d still say it’s worth the wait (25 minutes isn’t terrible for brunch in New York) because once you are seated, you will enjoy wonderful and attentive service, fantastic food, fresh drinks, and plenty of down time. Regardless of the wait, I still have not felt rushed out the door once.
It is highly likely that even through the spring, Community will remain the brunch pinnacle in this neighborhood of Manhattan.