Greca’s Greek-style brunch pizza makes it one of our top spots for brunch. All photos by Michelle Gillan Larkin.
Mexican and Greek cuisine may not be your first thought when it comes to brunch, but it should be, especially in Westchester.
If you’re anything like your fellow brekkie lovers around the globe, bloodies and Bennies are among the first things that come to mind when planning weekend brunch. But, who says you can’t add margs and ouzo to the menu, along with a side of ethnically inspired egg-based items? This is America, after all, and who are we to meddle?!
Here are two well-loved Westchester restaurants that now offer a surprising — and sublime — brunch menu. And, yes, you can still have your bloody and eggs Benny. In fact, make it a double!
7 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville; 914.222.9016
Saturday, 12-4 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Already well-known for its seasonally driven, thoughtfully prepared, and homespun menu items, this inviting, elevated, and downright visually pleasing, Michelin-recognized village standout has launched a sophisticated brunch menu that — much like its dinner menu — is a bit beyond anything Americans typically expect from Mexican food. “What is special about Mexican brunch,” says owner Spencer Pingel, “[is that] most people don’t think about those two words together.” He’s set out to change that common misconception every Saturday and Sunday, four divine hours at a time.
In crafting the menu with his Puebla-raised chef (formerly of Michelin-starred Casa Enrique in Long Island City), Pingel drew on his abiding love for the rich traditions he discovered as a frequent visitor to Mexico City’s topnotch restaurants, along with his fervent wish to establish a farm-to-fork dining hub for his community.
The result is an inspired, concise menu of brunch-style dishes that revolve — and evolve — with the seasons and the culinary art of the kitchen. Sure, avocado toast with an eye-widening sunny is there for the asking, along with a crowd-pleasing desayuno Americano (okay, we’ll spell it out: scrambles, bacon, potatoes, toast), but what’s unexpected and delightfully surprising is a palate-tempting plate of chopped potatoes with zippy chorizo, beans, lettuce, and cream that is a satisfying, standalone meal.
You could stop there, but a true Mexican-style brunch at this spot wouldn’t be complete without a hearty helping of huevos a la Mexicano (eggs, tomatoes, green chilis and onions, plus rice and beans), in addition to the more outside-the-box serving of house-made corn tortillas in green sauce with sunnies, avocado, Mexican cream, and queso fresco.
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Vegans — and carnivores on sabbatical — would do well to consider the highly brunchable and munchable quinoa bowl with avocado, garbanzo beans, asparagus, and pico de gallo.
For those who simply cannot fathom brunch without French toast, La Casa has you covered with a delicately enhanced stack of fluffy, egg-soaked slabs with fresh fruit, sliced plantains, and agave syrup.
And, what do you know, tacos make for fabulous brunching, so the evening lineup is on the menu, too. (Pro tip: Don’t miss the carnitas of pulled pork, people.) Call it lunch, if you must, and rest-assured that pro-lunchers can fall back on a sampling of regular dishes (in addition to the tacos) like salmon with quinoa and mango pico de gallo.
Handcrafted Bloody Marias, mimosas, margs, Micheladas, and rich French-press coffee wash it all down with ease and effortless style.
189 Main St, White Plains; 914.448.8800
Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Just as unexpected and outside-the-norm of a traditional Westchester brunch are the brekkie-inspired entrées that sizzle on the stove every Saturday at this downtown, upmarket, glass-wrapped haven of finely executed, rustic and reimagined Greek cuisine across three levels of dining space. It’s an eye-opening and festive affair, for sure, complete with DJ (brunch with beats, anyone?), bloodies that eat like a meal with shrimp perched at the rim, and authentic, hearty Greek and Mediterranean breakfast-type fare.
While it’s surely no secret that the humble gyro is a staple of Greek cuisine, how about them gyros, carved thin and tender, in a steaming, cast-iron skillet with a pair of perfectly poached eggs, crumbled feta (imported from the Greek countryside), home fries, and pita? We thought so.
Traditional shakshuka also arrives at the table in a skillet with a trio of very over-easy eggs that cook before your very eyes in that piping hot pan and tango with a sea of fresh tomatoes, garlic and onion, peppers, plus herbs and spices.
Akin to Greek pizza, both the kayiana and frutalia platters involve varying degrees of scrambles, Greek country sausage, tomatoes, and potatoes atop crisp pita; and the Greca Napoleon, comprised of a chickpea cake, wilted kale, feta, tomato, egg, and shrimp with mushroom sauce, is sure to keep you sated and smiling through dinner.
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And for the French toast addicts at the table, feast your taste buds on this: a sinfully rich serving of traditional Easter bread soaked in egg with candied walnuts, fresh fruit, Vermont maple syrup, and a dollop of luscious Greek yogurt.
A variety of Greek-inflected avocado toasts grace the menu, too, and what do you know — traditional dips like hummus and tyrokafteri (Greek yogurt, imported feta, chilis) actually go down quite easy in the a.m., slurped up with warm and toasty pita points, natch.
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Handmade bloodies employ local Stray Dog wild gin and are complemented by mimosas, mezcal Marias, and a lengthy lineup of handcrafted cocktails because, as the menu aptly notes: “without booze, it’s just breakfast.”