After multiple adult beverages helped fuel a Friday night double dose of karaoke (including a spirited performance of Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game,' obviously) we woke up needing something close by that would help sop up all that alcohol and embarrassment. Enter: Dooby's in Mount Vernon.
We were unsure of how exactly its Asian/Korean fusion, which we enjoy quite a bit for lunch and dinner, would translate into an American staple such as brunch, but decided to give it a shot. Luckily, Dooby's uses its strength of paying homage to strong Asian flavors to create an innovative brunch, maybe one of the best in the city.
Rolling into the modern-yet-comfortably-appointed coffee shop/restaurant around noon, we were greeted by a bustling scene full of young students, families, and professionals all seemingly enjoying themselves. We hurried up and made our order at the counter and snagged one of the last tables in the back dining room.
As we sat down and started to enjoy our awesomely spicy bloody mary ($8) our senses instantly perked up as we spied our neighbor enjoying his Korean BBQ steak rice bowl ($11). A mix of brown rice, azuki red beans, sesame-soy vegetable stir fry, cabbage slaw, and pickled carrots all topped with a runny fried egg, it was the type of dish (also available with chicken and marinated tofu) that you instantly store away in your "next time" food rolodex.
Luckily it wasn't long until our dishes rolled out, both of which had us feeling quite confident in our selections. We decided to try out both an Asian spin, in the way of their pork belly eggs benedict ($13), as well as the more-traditional Far West omelette ($12), and we couldn't have been happier with the outcomes.
The omelette, filled with North Country ham, green peppers, onions, and cheddar and topped with a heaping line of fresh mashed avocado, was massive. We're talking four or five eggs whipped up and cooked in a way that, when folded into themselves and plated, resulted in a nice airy fluffiness that only accentuated the sweetness of the pepper and onion and left you savoring the salty smoke of the ham, with the avocado acting as the proverbial cherry on top.
Not to be outdone, the fried potato coins on the side were equal parts crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, served with the perfect sprinkling of salt and a side of kimchi ketchup. The latter had us saying, "what the hell was that?" with excitement.
The main event was the pork belly eggs benedict. We saw a server bring some by before we got ours and about had a food meltdown. This isn't your normal eggs benedict: Dooby's lays two of its popular pork belly buns overtop a bed of cheesy rice grits, tops each with a pillowy poached egg, and finishes it off with a layer of scallion hollandaise sauce. Hole. Ee. Shit.
As if in slow motion, we cut down through the egg, releasing the oozing yolk onto the thick and glistening pork slices, and eventually into the light steamed bun that lay atop the creamy grits. If scooped up with finesse, you end up with a fork layered with cheesy rice, sweet carbs, fatty pork, a mix of egg white and yolk, and the light green hollandaise—creating the perfect cross section of brunch if we've ever seen one. The flavor was—and we're trying to hold back the hyperbole here—awe-inducing.
Feeling stuffed, we relegated ourselves to sipping on a refreshing jasmine iced green tea ($2.50) while we boxed up well more than half—the portions were huge—of our food, ready to head out and take on the cold air.