Neighborhood: NoHo, 325 Bowery (at E. 2nd St.)
The scoop: I had heard mixed reviews about Peels, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I went on a weekday (they open at 7:30 a.m.), but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Peels. The team behind Freemans Restaurant opened Peels on a busy corner on Bowery not too many years back. You don’t feel like you’re in a hipster hangout like you do at Freemans, but just at a great spot in NoHo. There is ample amount of space (both a main floor area and upstairs for dining, as well as sidewalk seating). The interior looks similar to a vintage ice cream shop with crisp white walls, wooden stools at the bar, small tables scattered throughout, as well as a large communal table.
The servers were attentive and friendly, even with the amount of people dining and grabbing their morning cup of joe. Peels also acts as a coffee shop and bakery, offering both to-go food options, pastries and coffee/tea drinks. The only difference in the menu during breakfast is that the lunch menu is not offered, just breakfast/brunch items, which goes until 11 a.m. on the weekdays.
La Colombe coffee $2.25
We started the day with the La Colombe coffee. It was pretty average black coffee. They also offer a wide variety of classic brunch cocktails done with a twist — the Leaded Milkshakes (vanilla rum milkshake, chocolate whiskey velvet) looked amazing, and I am really regretting not trying one.
Chew on this:
Build-a-biscuit (prices vary depending on what you get) / Classic buttermilk biscuit ($3), local organic eggs ($3), sausage ($2), Muenster cheese ($1), avocado ($2), red-eye gravy ($.50)
What a fantastic option for breakfast sandwich lovers!! It was fun deciding what you wanted in between your buttermilk biscuit, until you realized your only option for toppings other than meat, eggs and cheese, which I consider standard, were avocados and gravy. I absolutely loved this and ate every piece, but I would really like to see some more options for toppings. You can only create so many meat/cheese combos. The cheese was cooked when they scrambled the eggs, which really gave the eggs a distinct flavor. The fresh avocado was perfectly sliced, and you received more than I would have expected. The buttermilk biscuit was really delicious, but I can say that there have been heartier ones that I have tried in the past. I opted for gravy on the side. It was thick and tasted a little sweet, and it was great for dipping. Red-eye gravy is made with a hint of coffee, but this did not affect the taste.
Build-a-biscuit / Classic buttermilk biscuit ($3), local organic eggs ($3), country ham ($2), pepper jack ($1), avocado ($2)
The pepper jack cheese and the ham really affected the taste of the sausage Muenster cheese sandwich. The pepper jack was spicy, but you know what you’re getting into if you have had pepper jack before. Because the cheese was scrambled with the eggs it wasn’t as gooey and greasy as most biscuit sandwiches are, making me feel like I had had something slightly better for me (well within reason). I wanted the biscuit to be a little larger to accommodate the eggs, avocado and ham, but I really can’t complain too much — other than the lack of topping options, as I ate every last bite. It was scrumptious!
The final bite: Peels is a fantastic brunch and breakfast spot any day of the week. The food proved to be delicious, and I liked the concept of building your own breakfast sandwich; however, the choices for toppings need to be improved. I would definitely recommend this place and am looking forward to going back.
Reviewed by: Erica