Minnie's "LES Croque Madame" Will Pack A Punch At Your Next Brunch

I am rarely out of my apartment before 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. It’s the one morning a week I stay snuggled under my covers, not quite ready to take on the world. That being said, it takes an act of God - or really good food - to get me out of my little Brooklyn nook.

This last weekend, I ventured out for a brunch that I’m pretty sure the Big Man had something to do with. A little bit of both, I suppose?

By 9:30 a.m. I was out of my house and onto the train, still sleepy, but ready to indulge in a brunch on the Lower East Side.

I love the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It’s cute, quiet, and doesn’t have the same exhaustive lines as other aspects of NYC’s downtown neighborhoods. Murals on shop walls, fire escapes that won’t quit, and a restaurant scene that never surprises, it’s becoming one of my favorite places to look for new finds. Oh, and one of my gal pals lives there. So a win-win.

Back to brunch.

Minnie’s restaurant lies on the corner of Stanton and Clinton St., with windows paneling two of the four walls. Yes, ladies and gents, we are talking natural light that cures even the gloomiest diner.

As I ALWAYS do, I looked up Minnie’s menu online before heading to brunch. They had some usual hip and happening brunch entrees for a downtown cafe — grain and greens bowl, a hash, a yogurt bowl that was grossly overpriced. I’m sure all of these were lovely. But the thing that caught my eye was Minnie’s “LES croque madame.”

Sound it out. It may take you a couple of tries, but you’ll get there.

A croque madame is France’s take on a ham and cheese sandwich. Topping thick, breakfast bread with a bechamel and a soft fried egg makes this sandwich over the top, decadent, and HOLY MOLY filling. Don’t fret, you’ll still eat the entire thing.

Minnie’s LES croque madame trades the traditional thin-sliced ham with pastrami from Katz’s, the iconic Jewish deli which happens to be right down the street.

Let me break it down for you: Toasty, crunchy sourdough that’s been broiled with gruyere cheese. Thick, salty pastrami from Katz’s, with bechamel. Then add anther piece of toast with broiled cheese. Now you don’t just have a sandwich - you have a tower. Plop that soft fried egg atop your tower and BAM! Your LES croque madame awaits.

Some of you are lost. It’s a sandwich. It’s bread and cheese and some deli meat. Who cares, right? It’s a sandwich.

Let me stop you right there.

Minnie’s LES croque madame is more than a simple sandwich. It’s homey, comforting ingredients that have been elevated and now require a fork and knife to consume. It’s what you need, when you need it. It lets you be fancy and brunchy while still getting a meal that will stick to your ribs.

It’s worth getting out of bed on a Saturday morning.

With so many New York restaurants that are dark and angsty, asking small fortunes for small plates of leafy greens, Minnie’s gives you what warms your heart and your stomach. Real food, bright light, simple aesthetics, and the perfect place to make yourself a regular.

You should know what you’re ordering by now.

FoodLily MoeComment