Prune – The Waiting (is not) the Hardest Part

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Pants at a Glance
  • scene: Survival of the fittest... or hungriest. Find small groups and weekend couples galore!
  • sip: Did I mention the Bloody Mary menu with 10 variations?
  • savor: Not one thing, even the macerated fruit with mint, sounds bad to me. The Monte Cristo can change your life, and they hand old Alka Seltzer at the door for a reason...
  • sit: Apparently there's a downstairs room with a communal table, but the group that went down there right before had the highest pitched voices ever. The upstairs room is tiny, and the seats at the front are key on a nice day.
  • spend: $$
  • address: 54 East 1st St., btw 1st and 2nd Ave.
  • phone number: (212) 677-6221
  • website:

Tom Petty once said that “the waiting is the hardest part.” When it comes to brunch at Prune, I beg to differ.

On a beautiful May Saturday, I was up way too early (thanks to a food event where I blacked out early the night before) and BF and I decided to head somewhere for brunch that at a normal hour, would be a pain in the ass to go to. I am not the most patient, especially when it comes to food, however with my long list of unattainable brunch spots, I figured we should throw all our cards on the table and try Prune.

After hurriedly getting dressed, we started walking the 15 minute walk downtown. I didn’t want to mention it, but I couldn’t help myself – my contingency, for this nice Saturday brunch would be Supper. BF had me beat, and chastised me for thinking he wouldn’t have a contingency of his own – JoeDoe (note these for when you need them). We decided 45 minutes would be our cutoff to wait, and upon arriving at Prune, we were told 45 minutes it was. Touche!

Thank god for the nice day and actually wanting to waste my time with BF before he headed overseas, or else I am not sure I would have waited. But contrary to Mr. Petty, when it came to Prune, the waiting was NOT the hardest part – deciding what to order was!

Once finally seated – after 35 minutes, nevertheless – we were presented with both drink and food menus… Standard, right? WRONG – Ten types of of Bloody Marys really set the mood for the brunch amazingness to follow. We ordered our pickled fruit and beef jerky-garnished beverages accordingly, and agonized over the insatiable menu.

Russ & Daughters smoked fish? Not after waiting 35 minutes, a 5 minute walk away from the Super Heeb haven… Fried Oyster Omelet? Not on the specials menu, it can’t be as good… Dutch pancake? Not really in the “sweet” mood after waiting up an appetite. As one can tell, extremely difficult menu, extremely difficult decision. I bet I could have focused my entire wait on perfecting my pending order only to have been as unsure of myself as the first time I played hookey from work claiming pink eye.

We finally decided on the Monte Cristo: a friend turkey, ham, and swiss sandwich sprinkled with powdered sugar (or crack) and served with fried eggs, and the Huevos Rancheros, which our server promised would be spicy. We creeped an order of Potatoes Rosti, and I’m not sure what Rosti means, but to me, it was a slice of crispy potato pie.

Our drinks were perfect, as were our food – I really liked the huevos, but I guess they just weren’t as sexy as I imagined from a legendary brunch place. The taste, however, was amazing, and although for me it could have used a little more spice, it was extremely fresh and delicious with fresh black beans and avocado. The Monte Cristo was another story – it was a salty, sweet, but perfectly crisp brunch offering. This is the item every indecisive, hungover person dreams of when staring at the SeamlessWeb page the morning after a bender.

I’m sure you’ve heard this somewhere down the line, but Prune is undoubtedly worth the wait. That’s not to say there aren’t great backups in the area, but if the sun is shining down on your own Saturday in May, make it happen and remember: the waiting is NOT the hardest part!

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