Ever since I started my weight loss journey in late 2011, I’ve made a subconscious list of foods I should avoid most of the time. Cheese (AKA my most beloved food group) tragically had to go on the short list. Bouts of cheese tasting, cheese cave tours, and Liz Lemon night cheesing had to take a back seat to my health. I’m not super strict with my diet, though, and I’m totally okay with indulging once in a while. With their ass-smacking new brunch menu, Murray’s Cheese Bar (264 Bleecker St) gave me the perfect opportunity to do so.
I managed to win a spot in the restaurant’s preview brunch (being glued to Twitter has its perks), so I decided that my coworker Nalini would be the perfect person to join me in my carb-heavy pig-out. We knew that we had to go balls-to-the-wall with this brunch, since Nalini has only been to a proper brunch once in her short life. Their menu taunted me – how could I possibly fit a brunch burger, breakfast melt with melted fontina, and a chocolate-fondue-topped French toast stuffed with cream cheese in my 5’6” frame?! Answer: it’s impossible. Ultimately, we both decided on ordering some of the more sinful items they’re offering – the Elvis French toast for her, the duck hash with a poached egg on top for me, and the cheesy grits to split.
We both literally almost sobbed at how good the food at Murray’s was. The melted cheese on top was still bubbling when the grits were delivered to our table, but the burn felt so good going down my throat. The side is essentially 75% cheese and 25% grits, which makes this a super-rich side option for a party of one. While Nalini was being serenaded by her personal Elvis (topped with sliced bananas; loaded with a generous heap of peanut butter, a dab of marshmallow fluff, and super-thick strips of Nueske’s bacon; served with a side of sugary sweet maple syrup), I was trying to put a ring on my duck hash. Every single mouthful was full of juicy smoked duck, crispy roasted potatoes, egg yolk drippings, and hints of onion. Nothing tastes more perfect than a forkful of tender loving duck. The hash tasted even better on a nice slab of toast. The other piece of toast was reserved for a slab of homemade jam and subtly-salted butter.
Fortunately the world doesn’t have to wait much longer for Murray’s Cheese Bar’s outstanding brunch; it begins tomorrow (February 23rd). I’ve already convinced a handful of cheesy people in my life to “brie” my brunch dates in the near future.