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Quatorze Bis 29/37

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Poached Eggs
British Bacon
French Bread
Potato Chips


323 E 79th St
(between 1st and 2nd Aves)
New York, NY

The last time I ate at Quatorze Bis was with a boarding school classmate. The two of us, in friendly competition, each decided to see who could consume more Béarnaise with his steak. As I recall, we went through no less than five gravy boats. Although he was twice my size, I put up a good fight and spent that evening in misery and suffering as I painfully discovered the true meaning of Pyrrhic victory.

It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I arrived years later to try the brunch, which was delicious, if slightly unorthodox. The meal was served at the perfect temperature which instantly distinguished it. The bacon was neither American nor Canadian, but the half-way in-between British variety: perfect texture, saltiness, and taste. The eggs were perfectly cooked, with the yolk smoothly oozing out once broken. Although lacking in quantity, the Hollandaise was the perfect consistency and had a light fluffy taste. The meal went a little astray with two slices of very nice French bread substituted for the English muffins. As Americans we need not have opinions on this age-old rivalry, and think the French should be magnanimous in their victory as the better cooks by using English muffins.

The waitress told us fries came with the meal whereas, in fact, home-made potato chips filled the gap between the eggs. They were tasty and crispy, and the bottom ones became slightly and wonderfully soggy as they soaked up the extra yolk. The chips in themselves would have been an interesting variation, but, embarrassed by misleading us, the waitress not only brought out a bowl of French fries, but on her own initiative a gravy boat full of Béarnaise. Only several bloody Marys, which were the tastiest I have had in the city save at the Carlyle, were able to wash away the cholesterol, and the memory of Icarian victory three years earlier.

Submitted by DO Jr.
November 18, 2001


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