It’s a good time to be a downtown vegetarian: this week Superiority Burger snagged two stars from the Times and next weekend, kale cravers can take part in that most hallowed of New York rituals: fancy brunch. Naturally, leading this bacon-less charge is Dirt Candy, the veg-centric restaurant (also two-starred) that in February moved to the Lower East Side from the East Village nook that, it so happens, now houses Superiority Burger.
When Dirt Candy’s chef-owner Amanda Cohen noted, via Instagram, that she had “tons of reservations” about adding Saturday and Sunday daytime service, we wondered whether the outspoken chef was siding with Julian Casablancas in the matter of “white people having brunch.” But Cohen assured us over the phone that it was more of a personal matter.
“It only concerns me, really,” said Cohen, whose already demanding schedule – preparing dinner and lunches five days a week – keeps her from enjoying brunch herself. “Mostly, it’s my tired levels.”
Despite her fears of fatigue, Cohen decided it was “just silly to have a place in New York not open on a Saturday and Sunday, during one of the most popular meals.” The result is enticing options like corn french toast with yellow corn jelly and bourbon corn butter, and zucchini pancakes with squash blossom jam. Cohen takes particular pride in the smoked beet sandwich with dill pesto and horseradish. “If you didn’t know it was beets you’d swear you’d think you were eating some sort of meat like pastrami,” she said. “It’s intense.”
Here’s what else you can expect from the menu:
- Fennel walnut stick buns, beet coffee cake, and pain au chocolate et a l’oignon
- Red pepper fritters filled with red pepper jam
- Tomato biscuits with basil butter and green tomato jam
- Layered omelette with mint cilantro radish filling and whipped goat cheese
- Carrot granola with carrot marmalade and labneh
- “Green Huevos No Ham” – featuring chard tortillas with salsa verde, cotija cheese, and tempura poached eggs
- Green falafel salad with black hummus, charred broccoli, and fluffy grilled bread
- Spinach ramen salad with smoked mushrooms, pickled eggs, feta, and fermented black bean dressing
Dirty Candy is located at 86 Allen Street and “officially” starts serving brunch Saturday, September 12. Though, passing by this weekend around the hours of 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, you may also find yourself in luck.