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Please help me pick a brunch place where everyone in my family won't kill each other

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We all have crazy families. Mine is probably not crazier than most, but certainly when you get us all together, tensions can run high.

So here's the situation: my grandma is turning 91. She's in good shape, loves breakfast foods, and is the most important person at this meal. But she is 91, so the deal breakers for her are too much noise and too many stairs/tight spaces.

There are a couple people who are easily bothered by bad service, or anything else that might rub them the wrong way. It is arbitrary at times, so I don't expect any of you to know the ideal place for them, but good service and a nice environment is a good thing.

As for the other 8 of us, we have a couple who really love good food and are adventurous, and some who are more middle-of-the-road eaters. Brunch should have eggs, pancakes, french toast, etc. More exciting choices are a bonus but a variety of more traditional options is important.

Norma's was my first choice, but it is booked. Any other thoughts? 11 Madison Park could be good, but might not have enough conventional brunch choices. Nice space where we'll all be comfortable celebrating is important.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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  1. Mesa Grill is good but you'd have to sit downstairs and grandma would have to like south western food. Maybe a round of margaritas would help!

    1. I've always enjoyed NoHo Star. Not high on the glam factor, a la 11 Madison Park, but solid, delicious fare, VERY reasonably priced. You also might consider the Water Club on the East River (google it) if it's important to have a more impressive physical locale.

      1 Reply
      1. re: 280 Ninth

        Second the vote for NoHo Star. Actually, I take that back. Don't go there. Nobody should go but me.

      2. I'm a huge fan of the Neptune Room's brunch menu. They have creme brulee battered French toast (though no pancakes), baked Tuscan eggs, perfect eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, lox with bagels, and all sorts of other old school to new school goodies. Plus, it's a pretty decent value (only a smidgen more than you'll find at the diners in this nabe) and it has had excellent service every time we've been. It's a relatively large space, but they'll have to push together tables, so call ahead to reserve.

        1. I second the Neptune Room but they'll probably have to seat you in the back, and there's a few steps to get back there.

          If you want really spacious and quiet, try the Devin Tavern brunch (only on Sundays). Service is quite good, the food is excellent, and it's never crowded. They have egg scrambles, waffles, omelets, but no pancakes. The only downside is that there's a few steps to get in and out of the restaurant.

          1. If you think a buffet would be okay for your grandmother, then I would suggest the Tribeca Grand Hotel (Church Lounge). They have a buffet brunch on Sunday and I've gone there with my family on several occassions. Our group includes some old folks and young kids, and it's always been great all around for everyone. The space is very comfortable and roomy. We've gone there with groups of 6 and once we went with a group of 12 (on Mother's Day no less), and it has always been a nice experience.

            The buffet is not one of those monstrous ones (except on Mother's Day), but to our group quality is more important than quantity (well, to most of us anyway). Again, everything has always been very nice.