Every weekend, as hordes of hungry diners wait in line for brunch, Extra Crispy will hit the pavement, visiting a neighborhood’s most popular spots and talking to people who love the meal as much as we do. For this installment of Street Meet, Extra Crispy went to Manhattan’s West Village.
Kevin Hsu, 23, and Katherine Grib, 24, at Buvette
Extra Crispy: Why Buvette?
Katherine Grib: The pictures of their food looks really good all the time and I always walk by, so I decided to check it out today.
Kevin Hsu: And she asked me to come.
So you got dragged along. Are you upset about it?
Hsu: Absolutely not. I'm always excited about food.
It's just the two of you. Are you together?
Hsu: Hell no!
Do you live around the area?
Hsu: I don't. Do you, Katherine?
Grib: I do. I'm Upper West. At least I'm in Manhattan.
Hsu: Hey, technically Roosevelt Island is Manhattan.
What did you do last night?
Both: A friend's housewarming party.
You two are here relatively early.
Grib: For drinking last night, this is a little super aggressively early. I woke up and I was like "Shit, 11 a.m.? That's aggressive."
Hsu: Sorry, I have to do something at two. [Shrugs]
Sarah Green, 26, Abby Schuster, 27, Macaela MacKenzie, 24, and Stephen McAnearney, 27, at Extra Virgin
Extra Crispy: Why Extra Virgin?
Abby Schuster: It's convenient for all of us.
Macaela MacKenzie: Our dear friend Stephen picked it.
Stephen McAnearney: Sarah has a party after this, so it’s close by.
You're brunching then partying?
MacKenzie: Well, Sarah is.
Schuster: We all have different events after this. I live in Brooklyn, and they’re on the Upper West Side, and Stephen lives in San Francisco, so it all kinda worked.
San Francisco, huh? Why did you come to New York City?
McAnearney: To see this chick. [Points to MacKenzie]
Are you two an item?
Sarah Green: [Looks at Schuster] Hey, what about us?
You girls are the third and fourth wheels?
Schuster: I'd just call us all four wheels. We're like a car.
Got it. What'd you guys do last night?
Schuster: I played ultimate frisbee.
Green: I drank a whole bottle of wine.
MacKenzie: I actually had another friend stay with us from DC.
A fifth wheel? Cool. What do you usually eat after a one-night stand?
Green: Bagel. Coffee.
McAnearney: Coffee and a bagel.
Schuster: OK, bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel. I'll be really specific.
MacKenzie: We're actually all in long-term relationships, so no one-night stands.
I see. So, maybe a more appropriate question would be, "What do you eat after sex?"
Green: Depends what's in my fridge. Usually eggs, because I always have eggs.
MacKenzie: Yeah, the basics. Eggs or cereal.
Tina Isnani, 32, and Clay Roach, 32, at Buvette
Extra Crispy: Hey, can I bother you for a second?
Clay Roach: Are you going to ask if you can pay for our spot in line?
No, not exactly. That's weird.
Roach: Weirder things have been done.
Touché. Is it your first time at Buvette?
Roach: No. I love this place.
Tina Isnani: It is my first time.
Roach: Oh it is? Well, I didn't even know they did breakfast, quite frankly.
Isnani: Oh, I knew—I knew they did all kinds of things.
Roach: Well, I only come here for dinner. This is one of my favorite restaurants. Part of the reason is because I live eight blocks away, and I like walking down whatever the fuck this street is.
Roach: Yeah, Bleecker is a really nice walk.
Isnani: Yeah, it is.
Roach: You get to see the tree lines, the cute West Village streets, and get the blood circulating. It's good.
Isnani: That's a great way to wake up.
What'd you do last night?
Roach: Happy hour with friends.
Isnani: Apartment party. Dinner. Had sex.
What do you usually eat after a one night stand?
Isnani: Oh, I like pad Thai.
Roach: Cuban at Copella.
Alex Kahalon at Extra Virgin
Extra Crispy: Why are you here on this fine morning?
Alex Kahalon: The honest answer? I got a phone call from a friend that said she's been here a few times and that it's a great place so I said I'd come down here and meet her.
I don't see her. Where is she?
She's late is where she is. I'm not sure where she is but she'll show up sooner or later.
How long’s your wait?
They actually said 15 minutes ago that I could sit down whenever she gets here, but she's taking her sweet time.
Anything you'd like to try?
I heard the banana pancakes are great.
What'd you do last night?
I actually went to bed early. Is that not a fun answer? I needed a night off. It's been a long week. Sometimes I just need to take Friday nights off, so I can enjoy Saturday nights.
And what do you eat after a one night stand?
Oof. A bagel... an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese.
Julianna Lee, 20, Eleanor Byars, 21, and Kelsey Tyler, 20, at Jack’s Wife Freda
Extra Crispy: Do you three live in the area?
Eleanor Byars: We actually go to Villanova University, and we’re actually in the middle of exams.
Kelsey Tyler: We just came from Philadelphia.
Wait... You guys are in the middle of exams? Why come to New York City?
Byars: We had a solid break in our schedules and wanted to do something fun, so we decided to come spend the night here.
So, this is the only breakfast you’ll have in Manhattan during your trip?
Julianna Lee: [Laughs]
Why Jack’s Wife Freda?
Byars: I did some Googling on the way here, and it was on a top list. I looked up the menu, and it looked awesome, but it also had pictures linking to Instagram and they were all so pretty.
Tyler: Then she showed us the Instagram pics and there were shots from above that were really nice and colorful.
Is there anything you can’t wait to try?
Tyler: I’m excited to try the shakshuka—it looked really good.
Lee: And that eggplant dish?
Tyler: It all just looks fresh.
Byars: Yeah, the avocado toast looked really good.
What did you guys do last night?
Tyler: Yeah. You probably won’t get very many answers like that. [Laughs]
Byars: We had to get the papers done yesterday to be able to come today.
And you made it, obviously.
Byars: We sure did!
Elia Arrigiom, 32, and Barbara Pedrius, 32, at Buvette
Extra Crispy: Oh, I hear an accent. Are you from Switzerland?
Elia Arrigiom: Exactly.
How'd you end up in NYC?
Arrigiom: Just vacation.
And why Buvette?
Arrigiom: We looked on the Internet, we found it, and we wanted to taste something different outside of the city's standards, and I think we found it.
I think you did, too. How long is your wait?
Barbara Pedrius: One hour.
Ouch. You think it's worth it?
Pedrius: I'm not sure.
Arrigiom: In Europe, we don't wait. You make a reservation, you go there, you sit. But in the U.S., it's different, so we decided to give it a try.
What do you think of the American culture of waiting to be seated at one restaurant while there are many empty cafes just around the block?
Pedrius: It's crazy, haha.
Arrigiom: I think it's changed a lot because of the Internet. Websites give certain restaurants lots of publicity, and everyone wants to go there because it's the best on the planet and of all time.
Tracey Chin, 30, Steven Chin, 30, and Hayley Chin, 30, at Buvette
Extra Crispy: Where are you guys from?
Tracey Chin: America.
Hayley Chin: Australia.
How do you know each other?
Tracey: Steven and I are cousins, and they're newlyweds.
When’d you two get married?
Hayley: Last week?
Steven Chin: Yeah, last week in Australia.
I’m guessing you’re on your honeymoon.
Hayley: We are. We haven’t been to New York. It’s my first time in America.
How do you like it?
Steven: It’s great.
Hayley: It’s good so far. We’ve just been here two days. We’re staying a week in total.
What other plans do you have?
Hayley: Shopping, shows on Broadway.
Have you seen anything so far?
Steven: School of Rock. It was really good.
And why Buvette for the Aussies’ first brunch?
Tracey: It’s my favorite place.
Steven: It’s her fault.
Tracey: I’ll take that. It’s my fault. I love the fresh ingredients, their scone, the ambience. I love everything about it.