Let’s face it, the world is hunkered down, alone together, socially distancing and drinking quarantini’s at the moment. We are all in this pandemic together and let’s face it, the old adage “It’s five o’clock somewhere” sadly has no time preferance anymore. Are you catching my trendy hashtags because I’m laying them on pretty thick. Hopefully we are truly taking this time to do some self care, self love, working out and acquiring new hobbies that we sort of put on the back burner because there just wasn’t enough time. The refresh button has truly been pressed on everyone’s well being and I surely hope we are all taking this time to come out on the other end stronger and more resilient than ever.
But there is something that’s missing. The daily routine that caffinated our lives has been completely compromised. What was will unfortunately not be for a while, but this too shall pass and let’s face it, we NEED to eat right?
Dressing up and going out for dinner (remember that on Friday nights?), food shopping, catching a movie at the cinema, just merely being social in general, has basically become a thought of the past. Parents are at their wits end juggling job obligations and harshly being immersed into the title of self proclaimed teacher and private chef abruptly. And what I observe on social media, it truly has become the newfound ultimate full time job for everyone. But let’s just get back to eating out with family and friends. Catching up with girlfriends at Happy Hour after a long work day and my ultimate favorite, sadly missed wholeheartedly; meeting up with friends for brunch.
Brunch. By definition, is described as a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch, but to me it is life and without brunch; there is no life. As I have gotten older and a wee bit wiser, I have traded in my Friday Night Lights for a weekend anticipation ritual honoring this fete. New Yorkersfor example, would rather brunch than dine on a Friday night, so I am assuming I’m kinda cool, right? There is just this nouveau pomp and circumstance to getting ready on a Saturday or Sunday morning, all dressed up in your finest, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to conquer your favorite cafe spot and eat alot and basically eat, all day.
Let’s just pretend for a moment. Trust me you’ll love this. Make believe you’re in Paris. Walking up and down the Champs Elysses, fully enamored in rich architecture and history. Beautifully ornate old buildings and cozy dark alleways just consume your mind wondering if Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel walked these very streets years ago. Maybe a little homesick, you stumble upon this cozy little cafe on the corner in the 17th and just based by the looks of the crowd waiting to be seated, you decide to put your name in and sigh, wait. Oh but my my is it worth it!
Exposed brick, a mixed bag of kitschy chairs and tables all perfectly decorated, the sounds of espresso cups clinging together, the smell of eggs and toast mixed with the frothy smells of cappuccino just screams brunch to me. The sounds of children laughing and adults adulting with their Mimosas and wearing their weekend finest; it was at Gabylou where I truly felt like I was home. Everything about this place makes me feel like I am truly back in my niche somewhere tucked into the heart of Soho, sipping my coffee and yes, eating my glorious breakfast.
Gabylou has this type of family oriented experience, which was rather profound to me considering I am not in the USA anymore. Greeted by wonderful staff who have proudly become our friends; we are immersed into our arduous task of what will we eat this time? Sipping our Champagne over the simple yet impressive menu always has me personally torn between avocado toast with poached egg, or eggs benedict. I know, it was always a tough decision. See, brunch to me is something to look forward to. All week, my husband and I endlessly spend time catering to others and serve the best food we can; it is just such a wonderful treat to be served and eat quality comfort food in a place I personally consider home to me now.
I always end up with the avocado toast, perfectly sprinkled with pommegranate seeds, the saltiness of the goat cheese and that poached egg; runny and perfect as it drips from the side of my lips. I feel so gluttonous as I swipe a piece of my grain toast to soak up that little bit left of the yolk that I swear tastes like cheese sauce. Hello clean plate club as my mom would say and hey…. did I make you hungry yet?
Let’s not worry about what will be and let us instead focus on those important memories we have of our favorite places; like Gabylou and realize that we will be able to enjoy these moments again. Think about it. The kitchen is the most important room in any home; one would say where the magic happens. It’s where recipe memories are made with your mom or Great Aunt, learning the right way to make pierogies or it’s the general food station during Thanksgiving where everyone is eating the food before it’s placed on the table. The kitchen is where friends and family come together with food and celebration. I just wanted to share with you my favorite place that I miss, helping me through those homesick days; now missing it more than ever.
Let’s get back to what we love and desire the most these days and most importantly, let’s do brunch sometime and sometime soon.
Gabylou, Where to find them: