The West Village. Home of The Brunch. A meal that involves dressing up in your fanciest casual outfit and paying a minimum of $9 for a mimosa. It has its place in our society, and we are not here to knock it. Brunch has been good to us, many times over. But sometimes, we don't want brunch. Sometimes we want breakfast at noon. There is a difference. And in the West Village, with 12 new brunch spots opening every week, breakfast places have become harder to find.
But that's why you're friends with us.
La Bonbonniere is a Village safe haven from all things hollandaise. The cash-only menu is filled with standard breakfast staples, without any meddling whatsoever. Eggs. Omelets. French toast. Pancakes. Muffins. Bottomless cups of pretty mediocre coffee. Like we said, breakfast, not brunch. That isn't meant to suggest that this diner is a dump. Although, it kind of is. But the food speaks for itself and is good enough to attract crowds - weekend lines here are the norm, not the exception. Instead of giving your number to a hostess (there is none) and her calling you back when your table is ready (this place has a pay phone on the wall), BonBon has the eloquent system of making you stand in the cramped dining room while you wait your turn. Spend that time browsing the randomly hung photos and magazine clippings. Aside from a lot of Molly Shannon and Machu Picchu, we dare you to figure out the theme of Bon's decor.
Best yet, because we are here for breakfast, and not brunch, the food is served seconds after it is ordered. And at this place, we really mean seconds. They must be working with some illegally rigged, souped-up grill because there is no way they can feed people as quickly as they do working with a regulation model. But on the flip, the waiters here don't rush you, and nobody who works here will give you the stink eye for lingering over a check. So come hungry, eat quickly, and sit until the hungover guy waiting for your table is just too sad a sight to ignore.
These comes three to a stack, perfectly crispy around the edges, and can be optioned into the blueberry, banana, or chocolate chip variety. Or get sexy on them and go with our favorite, the blueberry-chocolate chip combo. I may have dated a girl for a month one summer based on the fact that we both ordered this dish. That's a powerful pancake.
Sometimes this resembles challah french toast, but not always. Classic Bon, they do whatever they want. Either way, it is always tasty, and if you throw a couple over easy eggs and some bacon on top, nobody will blame you.
Prepared however you want. 2 egg, 3 egg, egg whites, and whatever filling you can think of. We are partial to the avocado, tomato, and cheddar variety. Unlike so many places around, if you ask for your home fries well done, they actually come well done, so order accordingly.
Do yourself a favor and get a side if you aren't getting it with your order. Shhhhh, just do it. It comes heaped on a plate, piled all the way up, and hits the perfect sweet spot between crispy and chewy.
If you're gonna be fat with a greasy breakfast, be fat all the way.