If you’re looking for a good brunch place around Midtown, HK is my go-to brunch spot whenever I’m in the area. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, HK offers an unlimited brunch, great food, and spontaneous drag shows! All for a reasonable price. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one!
Both times I’ve been to HK it’s been when we’ve been going to a Broadway matinee show so we’ve been in the Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen area. The first time, it took a lot of research but we decided to try HK for brunch. Boy were we surprised! First off, how had I not heard of this place beforehand? And secondly, I was completely not expecting the spontaneous drag show that started somewhere between our 4th and 5th mimosa. Like, what a steal!
HK offers such a fun atmosphere for brunch. Drag shows aside, the overall feel of the place was trendy and young. The restaurant is bright and airy; one wall is completely made up of glass garage doors, which I imagine might be opened during the nicer weather. Both times we’ve sat at the bar and gotten attentive service and the drinks keep flowing. I always start out with a Bloody Mary, as you may know, and then switch to mimosas. I can attest that both were made correctly, and after a few you really start to enjoy yourself.
And, the food is great! A lot of times with trendy unlimited brunch places like this the food really suffers as a result, but not with this place! They have classic American food; omelettes, burgers, and sweet and savory breakfast food. The first time I got, believe it or not, a veggie burger topped with a mac and cheese AND a fried egg. Like what? It’s their “brunch burger”, and I asked for it with a veggie burger subbed for the beef patty. And ohmigod was it good. I can’t even remember eating the fried egg; I’m sure it got lost somewhere mixed up with the pound of delicious mac and cheese piled on top. And, it’s nicely served on an English muffin which I told myself cut some of the calories, but who am I kidding. The bartender told me it was on their special’s menu one time, and it was such a hit they decided to keep it on their regular menu. This meal was definitely a splurge but one that I had come to terms with.
This past time however, I decided to stick to a regular veggie burger. It was served on wheat toast (which, again, made me feel slightly better about my life choices) and lettuce, tomato, and onion. I asked for cheddar cheese which is a must-have for my burgers. The patty was obviously homemade and basically just a really good veggie burger (and I know my veggie burgers). It was served with fries and a yummy aioli, which were perfectly cooked and salty.
Matt has a sweeter breakfast tooth than I do, so he got the pancakes. I tried them and yummmmmm. I know you can’t really screw up pancakes but these were pretty good — topped with berries, bananas, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. They were just the right amount of sweet, and they were fluffy and melted in your mouth with the warm syrup.
Like I mentioned earlier, around 2 o’clock the drag show starts. There is completely no mention of it anywhere in the restaurant or on the signs or menu. I think for most people it’s a complete shock when the music starts and the drag queens start rolling out. As in most cases, the queens are pretty funny too. One of the queens went outside and danced in the street, because it’s completely visible through HK’s glass garage doors. It was hilarious and drunken me thought it was the most clever thing that ever happened.
This really is the perfect brunch spot before going to see a show, OR for taking some out-of-towners before you show them touristy midtown. Just make sure they’re down for some drag 🙂 But after we went to go see Something Rotten happy as clams and pretty darn tipsy too. HK get’s 3.75/5 stars!