Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fetching Some Brunch

The concept of brunch has sort of always confounded me. Well perhaps that's not accurate. I don't think brunch was really on my radar until I arrived in New York City a little over five years ago. Here in New York, brunch is the thing that people do on Sundays. "How was your weekend?" "It was great, we did blahdee blah and blahdee blah and Sunday met up with some friends for brunch..."

After enough time peeking in the windows, eventually you want to go in the store. So today, I suggested to my husband that we join all the other cliches and 'do brunch.' Tired of all our neighborhood haunts, we ventured to the Upper East Side, my first home in NYC. It was a perfect opportunity to return to one of the first restaurants we discovered together, a place called Fetch.

Walking into Fetch is a bit like coming home, throwing on your sweats and settling into your spot on the couch. The head chef greets you with that same warm and friendly smile you see nearly every time you come here. Silverware clatters in the background and neighborhood families chatter in upbeat tones. There are faux fireplaces and mantels adorned with pictures. It feels like the living room of that family you know who is bursting at the seams with love. And then you take a second look at the pictures. Every picture in the restaurant is of a dog. You see, Fetch isn't just about food. They're also about helping stray dogs (and animals in general). They are so serious about this that every table in the restaurant is adorned with a mission statement oulining the restaurant's partnership with a no-kill animal shelter. How many restaurants do you know with a mission statement?

Mission statement or no, let's be honest. The real reason we go to Fetch is for the food. As you might expect, they excel at comfort food. Burgers, mac n' cheese, philly cheese steaks, they do it all and they do it all extremely well. Today, I opted to change it up and try something new, trusting that I would not be disappointed. Being a lover of Mexican food, I ventured to try the Huevos Rancheros. Oh my Lord am I happy that my Huevos Rancheros virginity has been taken from me. And in this case, my first time was far from forgettable! Let's face it, fried eggs are always good. But you pair that with fried tortillas and some guacamole? Hurts so good.

As we sat happily enjoying our mimosas and comfort food dishes, we scanned our surroundings and enjoyed the view. There were extended families catching up on each other's news. There were toddlers in high chairs. There was a one year-old girl clad in an awesome pair of pink Chucks who had already perfected her Homecoming Queen wave. Is it odd to be jealous of a baby? Because I was. Girlfriend had great style and knew how to work a room!

Over the course of the meal I thought back on the days we first discovered Fetch's amazing Philly Cheeseteak eggrolls (YES! Heaven IS on Earth!) and watched the families around me. I was heartwarmed at the thought that this place could be 'our' place for years to come. We could have a framed picture of our family mutt displayed on the wall. We could bring a toddler here (although not before teaching him/her how to work the room). We could 'do' brunch for years to come.

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