One thing that’s synonymous with New Yorkers is our obsession with weekend brunch. It’s really just not the weekend without it. I used to travel all across the city trying new brunch spots with my friends, but the past couple months, I’ve been keeping it rather local. Why, you ask? Well I’ve discovered THE BEST brunch spot in all of Harlem (and I’d even venture to say all of uptown).
Nestled at the bottom of a brownstone on the corner of 122nd and Lenox stands BLVD Bistro, a quaint and cozy restaurant owned by Executive Chef Carlos Swepson (this restaurant is black owned!). After taking over the restaurant in March 2014, Chef Carlos re-envisioned brunch with a menu filled with savory delights and sweet surprises, all with a little southern twist they like to call Crafted American Soul. I’ve been hooked since the first time I’ve dined there, really not having much interest in brunching anywhere else in my neighborhood since.
What makes this spot so good? Well let’s start with the basics, amazing food!
I’ve tested pretty much everything on the brunch menu at this point, from the crab cake benedict, to the shrimp and grits, to the pancakes. But my favorite item on the menu is definitely the organic eggs any style. The dish is both savory with eggs, bacon and potatoes and sweet with a delicious soft & golden biscuit that comes with maple butter and jam—the perfect combination for brunch.
Oh and did I mention the spiked sweet tea?! Do yourself a favor and try it.
As if your mouth is not watering and that’s not enough, the management and ownership of this place really makes it the gem that it is. This is not just a money generator for Chef Carlos. You can tell he really has a passion for people and for food.
Not just a behind the scenes guy, you can catch him out and about in the restaurant greeting customers with his jovial smile, shaking hands and making sure everything is to their liking. He really sets the tone for the rest of his staff — the director of operations Andre always stops to say thanks for coming and my regular waiter Malik is never less than a pleasure.
I could go on and on about this place, but in the interest of your tastebuds, just do yourself a favor and go try it for yourself. BLVD Bistro is located at 239 Lenox Ave (at 122nd St.) and is open for brunch from 11-4 on Saturday and 10-6 on Sundays. They also serve dinner, so make sure to check out the full restaurant hours and menus here.