The past couple of weeks, CT & I have been trying to get together with our friends, JS & MS. After our schedules finally aligned, we met up for Sunday brunch in the East Village. We ended up at Back Forty. After a short wait, we made our way back to our table. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the restaurant and its choice of not packing in as many tables as humanly possible. Our four top was quite large so we all had plenty of room to breathe, very un-East Village like.
We started with a couple “Snacks” for the table.
Buttermilk Biscuits (2 for $5, naturally we got 4). These were quite good. Crunchy on the outside, super soft on the inside. I prefer mine with butter only to make it more savory.
CT says: Flaky, warm biscuits – what’s not to love?! I used the jelly with mine and it was pretty good. Just a touch of sweetness.
When I saw Pork Jowl Nuggets with Jalapeno jam($4) listed, it was not a question whether it would be ordered. The order was three small nuggets with a crispy crust. Unfortunately, they weren’t that “porky” and the jam was a little too sweet with not enough heat. It was only a couple bucks, so not much lost here. Stick with the biscuits.
CT says: These were yummy little bits of crunchy pork, but nothing too special. If it was ordered, I would happily eat it again.
The entree portion of the menu is pretty small, 5 choices, which should be expected from a brunch place looking to feed as many people as possible and make each of those dishes truly shine. As a result, CT, MS, and I all ordered the same thing; Poached Eggs with Black Bean Puree on Grilled Country Bread with queso fresco and cilantro chili sauce($12). The eggs were cooked perfectly(albeit not that pretty) by being nice and runny. The black bean puree was very tasty, but leaned towards being overly salty. The rest of the items on the plate were nothing remarkable. It was the perfect brunch dish and left me quite full.
CT says: Unfortunately, my egg wasn’t quite as runny as TT’s, but it was still very good. I liked the black bean puree, but found there too be a little too much on the plate, overwhelming everything else. The bread was completely lost and soggy under the puree. I thought each component was flavorful, but just a little off balance.
JS went rogue and had Fried Chicken and Waffles($14). I had a bite and enjoyed it very much. The chicken was perfectly fried and melded with the waffle nicely. As a person who grew up North of the Mason-Dixon line, I never had chicken and waffles growing up, so now I see that I truly missed out. JS cleaned his plate, so it was safe to assume he liked his dish.
We also got a side of “Heritage Bacon”($4). I couldn’t tell the difference between non-heritage and heritage bacon. It looked and tasted like plain old bacon to me. Bacon should be mandatory at every brunch.
If this wasn’t enough food, we got an order of French Fries with Rosemary Sea Salt($5). A good size portion of fries, but a little too limp for my taste. I didn’t detect any Rosemary flavor, but then again my palette was pretty shot from all the salt in the meal.
We all also started off with a cocktail, which were all delicious.
All in all, it was great brunch with good friends. Prices are reasonable and portions are filling. I would definitely be interested in returning for dinner to try out that menu. The menu leans towards savory, which agrees with me just fine.