Nothing says a perfect summer brunch like an open-air restaurant and some good huevos rancheros, so today we are taking a trip downtown to Edward’s for some sunshine and simple new American brunch. Edward’s, a TriBeCa staple, is a charming sidewalk café that boasts a family-friendly atmosphere as well as a full bar. Whatever you’re looking for this weekend, Edward’s has the brunch for you.
Located on Broadway between Duane Street and Thomas Street, Edward’s is an easy walk from either the Franklin Street station on the 1 train or the Chambers Street station on the 1, 2, and 3 trains. Edward’s is also near the Hudson River Park, which is the perfect place for a weekend stroll before or after brunch.
When we swung by Edward’s on a Saturday afternoon, the sidewalk café was already filled with people sipping mimosas and munching their brunch. Consequently, we sat at the bar, which still had lots of natural lighting and a great view of the entire restaurant. (Of course, sitting at the bar means not a lot of places to put your bags, so don’t bring your whole life in your tote, especially if you also have to carry a stuffed bear, ahem.)
Our server was the bartender himself, and while he winced when I told him that I was allergic to butter, he recovered quickly and offered up any egg dish. I asked about the huevos rancheros and he nodded vigorously. “Oh, yes, huevos rancheros, yes, yes, we can definitely do that.” He ran to the kitchen to double check, and there seemed to be no problem.
For the uninitiated, huevos rancheros are a classic breakfast plate, with eggs (huevos), tortillas, rice, beans, and whatever else restaurants like to put on them, or consequently, whatever else you have in your refrigerator. I think of huevos rancheros like fried rice—it’s what you make the day after you’ve made tacos, and you throw all the ingredients together again with some eggs and call it breakfast. The eggs are classically served over easy, so if you like runny eggs but can’t eat Hollandaise, this breakfast dish is a great one!
At Edward’s, huevos rancheros, though elegantly plated, is remarkably simple: black beans and tomato sauce, with a crispy tortilla, eggs, and diced tomatoes as a garnish. What started off as a fork-and-knife breakfast quickly became a spoon breakfast, but the simplicity allowed for the main ingredients to be powerful and complement each other fully. The runny eggs softened the crispy tortilla, and the tomatoes and the sauce gave a sweetness to the salty, hearty beans. Although there was not many ingredients on the plate, and we would have certainly eaten a larger portion, we appreciated that Edward’s was able to preserve a classic dish with integrity and respect to its simplicity, unlike so many restaurants who constantly try to reinvent things.
The ambience at Edward’s is friendly, and the volume level was low enough that we were able to converse sitting sideways at a bar, but not so soft that we felt uncomfortable discussing our personal lives. The bartender was attentive and kept our drinks filled and checked in about the allergies again after we started eating. He even let us split our bill three ways on three different cards! (Bless that man.)
New York can be overwhelming with its trends, especially the foodie ones, and it’s often frustrating to find a simple place to grab brunch and catch up without having to wait in lines for the hottest new place, or sift through the menu to find something where you recognize all the ingredients listed. Welcome to Edward’s, where you can embrace the romance of summer in New York and promptly ignore the rest. They even have old-school matchbooks with their logo printed on it, a throwback to the days when restaurants still did that!
Edward’s is the New York that you hope to find as a New Yorker—not the dazzling danger of Times Square and Rockefeller, but the quiet New York that you can tuck in your back pocket like a matchbook and keep for another sunny weekend.