ginger and salt

brunch in brooklyn: roebling tea room.

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I’m from Seattle, so I’m no stranger to rain and overcast weather.  However, one of my favorite aspects of New York City is the ability to walk everywhere.  I know I’m not alone in thinking that the best way to explore the city is by foot.  So when we woke up on Saturday morning, I was frankly a bit disappointed to see gray skies and raindrops.  Luckily, this city has no shortage of restaurants, bars, and boutiques so we spent the day in Brooklyn, imbibing and staying dry.

The highlight of our day in Brooklyn was brunching at Roebling Tea Room, one of my friend Sarah’s favorite spots.  I hadn’t spent much time in Williamsburg before and was happy to have a chance to explore the neighborhood whose name is now synonymous with hipster.  Getting off at Bedford Avenue station, I had a bit of a GIRLS moment visualizing Ray telling Shoshanna how he much he ‘f*cking loves her.’ (Is it obvious I’m a tourist?)

Named for the street it’s located on, Roebling Tea Room is located in a beautiful brick building, only a few blocks away from the subway.  I immediately fell in love with the minimalist, old-school vibe of this place and incredible people-watching opportunities.  I felt like the lamest person in there with my gray beanie, gray sweatshirt, and black pants.  Every person walking in looked cooler than the next and even worse, that they had just rolled out of bed looking like that.  I can’t even remember details of the amazing ensembles because I was too overwhelmed with the hipness oozing out of this place.

The font and format of the menu looks like something out of a Wes Anderson movie (see website for examples). The food is very straight-forward, although the menu can be a bit cryptic at times.  For example, under the “Sandwiches” section, there is a Burger, a Cheeseburger, and a Cheeseburger All The Way.  No other details are given as they assume you can figure it out, and to be honest, you probably can.

We started off with some classic Bloody Marys.  Nothing spectacular, just a good, strong cocktail.  Not too watered down (the WORST), and it had a bit of a kick to it.  Knowing how grumpy all of us can get when we haven’t eaten, Vanessa’s maternal instincts kicked in and she ordered some of their delicious Biscuits and Butter for the table while we waited for our entrees.  The biscuits were savory and flaky, improved only by the creamy, yellow butter.

Our table more or less ordered two things.  I went with the Baked Cheddar Eggs with Raison Fennel Toast, Grits, and Apple Butter, as the savory and sweet combos always catch my eye.  Obviously I needed a side of bacon to go along with this, especially so I could crumble some up and put it in my eggs.  The eggs were great — very fluffy served in their lovely little ramekin with sharp cheddar on top.  The toast was thick and lightly toasted, so it didn’t cut your mouth, and was a great match for the apple butter.  I’m not even a grits person generally, but these ones had a really good texture and cheesy, creamy flavor.  I was satisfied after a few bites, but they quickly disappeared once they were passed around the table.  In my fantasy life, I would lounge around on Saturday morning in a mens shirt in my Brooklyn brownstone eating this breakfast while reading the paper.  Not too fussy, with a little bit of everything (cue the Dawes song).

The other girls in our group went a more adventurous route and opted for the Beets and Eggs with Kale and Goat Cheese. It was such a beautiful dish with its deep reds and greens and the golden egg yolk on top.  The goat cheese and egg seemed to be a wonderful, rich combination when paired with the tender vegetables.  As much as I love beets and kale, I just have a weird thing about having vegetables at breakfast.  Can’t do it, not sure why. But this dish had my mom written all over it and she would’ve loved every bite.

We finished our brunch in a leisurely manner and as the rain continued to fall, we made our way over to Maison Premiere for more cocktails and people watching, followed by some dangerous boutique “browsing” (I NEEDED those pants, okay?) Despite the weather, it was a lovely day in Williamsburg with some of my favorite people. Since I can’t be a regular at Roebling, I have been trying to master the art of the Baked Cheddar Eggs at home. Not quite there yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Roebling Tea Room, 143 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, NY, (718) 963-0760,, Lunch Monday – Friday, Weekend Brunch, and Dinner Daily (see website for hours), Reservations Only For Parties of Six or More


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