Norma’s at Le Park Meridian came up again and again as a great breakfast place. Located uptown near the MOMA, this restaurant does breakfast/brunch meals until 3pm. I had a look at their menu on the net before deciding we should try it out. The prices are the first thing to strike you with most of their dishes equivalent of a normal main mean (entree in the US) at any other restaurant. Fortunately they are different enough and portions, naturally, massive enough to justify them.

The dining room doesn’t look anything that special. In fact, we were puzzled by the strange mish mash of diner-like tables around. Was this a diner-style breakfast joint? Is it that popular that people’s backsides have worn down many of the seat covers? It’s like this place had a multiple personality disorder and no single one yet dominating, resulting in confusion.

A good example of this was the complemetary juice “shot” that arrived at the table when we sat down. A fruit concoction, I hadn’t received one of these since my stay in the Marriott in Calgary three years ago. Fresh and a nice start to the service. Unfortunately our waitress failed to impress us the rest of our meal with us needing to ask for water several times and waiting at least ten minutes before we could ask for the bill.

Out of all menus I looked at trip, Norma’s looked the most interesting. With subsections such as “Mom can’t make this”, “Eggs cellent”, and “This shsould do it” … how could you not smile at it? Look closer and you start to see some weird and wacky concotions, “PB&C Waffle ‘Wich” or a chocolate waffle with a peanut butter and toffee crunch filling or maybe you want to splurge for “The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata” with its most expensive incarnation costing you US$1000. I kid you not.

Anyway on to what we ordered. Here’s the Norma’s Egg Benedict (US$22) (buttermilk pancake layered with canadian bacon and grilled asparagus). Although the bernaise sauce was apparently very good the pancake apparently didn’t provide enough contrast that a classic toasted English muffin would and so the whole dish seemed a bit all of the same.

I went for the Irresitable Banana-Macadamia Nut Flap Jacks served with whipped banana brown sugar butter (US$21) . Thrown off by the use of flap jacks, I worried I would end up with these heavy, thick British style flapjacks that threaten to defeat you with a single bite. The waitress, almost immediately, assured me they are simply pancakes.

What arrived was a huge set of pancakes. This meal really should have been split in two. Even half would have satisfied for a meal on its own. However these pancakes, both dense and light at the same time were so more-ish they called to be eaten. And besides, does anyone do doggy-bags for breakfasts?

Name: Norma’s
Found at: Inside the Le Parker Meridien, 119 West 56th Street, New York, NY, 10019

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