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A stick-to-your-ribs brunch at Tipsy Parson

  • Cuisine: Southern, regional American
  • Atmosphere: spacious, full-bar, Southern decor and charm, Americana
  • Attire: casual
  • Ideal for: 1x1, small groups, brunch
  • Must try: homemade cinnamon donut (whole vs. munchkins), pimento cheeseburger
  • Price: all brunch items under $16
  • Reservations: Via phone or www.opentable.com
  • Phone: (212) 620-4545
  • Website: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/tipsy-parson/
  • Location: 156 9th Avenue, (Btwn 19th & 20th Streets)

*All of my photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

Hangover + bone-chilling cold weather + grey skies = not the kind of morning that I want to be satiated by anything fancy or (gasp) healthy.  No, I want a plate of food that will make me feel as comforted and warm as that first hug I get from my parents after going months without seeing them.  For this exact reason, I chose one of the Chelsea neighborhood's newest regional-American restaurants, Tipsy Parson, to meet Pax and Caroline for Saturday brunch.      

Despite the fact that it was 12:30pm on a Saturday (prime-time in NYC), the three of us were seated immediately.  We squeezed in to a cozy banquette + table/chair situation in the restaurant's front room, which conveniently occupied the bar and table seating for approximately 20 diners/drinkers.  Beyond this was a short hallway that led to the main dining room.  Tipsy Parson's interior decor reminded me of many of the restaurants I dined in during my visit to Memphis.  Imagine banquette's made of old church pews, a long and voluptuous marble-topped bar, mismatched wooden chairs, ice cream parlor (style) bar stools, a melange of old-fashioned chotchkies adorning the walls and hugging the ends of shelves, etc.

Tipsy Parson's brunch menu could best be classified as "Southern American," with offerings such as: Country Ham & Biscuit, Oyster Po'Boy (sandwich) and Sweet Potato Beignets.  I chose to whet my palate with a glass of North Carolina's own Cheerwine Soda, which tastes almost identical to a Shirley Temple (Sprite + grenadine).  Yum!

Cheerwine Soda, a peppy beverage from North Carolina that tastes almost identical to a Shirley Temple The three of us unanimously agreed to split a Cinnamon Doughnut and Monkey Bread for appetizers.  The latter did not resemble the ooey-gooey, caramel-y, finger-licking-good breakfast bread that I had secretly been fantasizing about.  Imagine a tower of Dunkin Donuts' Munchkins clumped together, forming a single pastry about the size of a popover, finished with a light dusting of cinnamon and sugar.  The Monkey Bread itself was stale and arid, leading me to believe that it was baked one to two days prior to our visit.  I found this unfortunate and unacceptable.

The driest Monkey Bread on the planetAfter pushing the crumbly Monkey Bread off to one side of my plate, I decided that it was time to taste the Cinnamon Doughnut.  Warm, doughy and sweetened just enough from the cinnamon and sugar, I had to restrain myself from not only from taking smaller bites, but from ordering a doughnut all for myself.  

 Cinnamon Doughnut Since we felt guilty enough for ordering appetizers at brunch (who does that?!), Caroline and I decided that it would be best if we split the Pimento Cheeseburger.  A large oval plate arrived that was topped with three fresh-out-of-the-fryer golden/amber-brown hush puppies served alongside a dollop of spicy remoulade dipping sauce, and a fully-dressed cheeseburger about the size of my hand.  The bun tasted as though it had been fully dredged in melted butter for about ten-minutes prior to being grilled.  A thick schmear of pimento cheese spread topped each half of bread, followed by a couple of fried kosher dills, crunchy red onions, slices of salty bacon, and a 3/4"-thick beef patty grilled to a perfect "medium."

I don't give a damn if you're kosher or a vegetarian; this is one sexy cheeseburger!Aside from the Monkey Bread mishap, I cannot wait to return to Tipsy Parson!  "You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl."

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