Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Northern Spy Food Co.

TL;DR: ★★★★☆

Simply delicious. Pretty, rustic decor. OK service, slightly overpriced menu.

Food: ★★★★★
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Staff: ★★★☆☆

Price: $$-$$$
Number of visits: 1

12th St. Between Ave. A & Ave. B

My, oh my, it's been a while. Life has been craaaazzzzy lately that it's turned me into a terrible blogger, eek. But fear not, I am back with a full-on review of an incredibly delicious place in the East Village: Northern Spy Food Co.


I came here for weekday brunch and left feeling more than satisfied as the food was just amazing. Everything was super fresh and flavorful, very well-executed and decently presented as well.

We ordered the southern fried rice and pulled chicken sandwich off the lunch menu, which I believe is a tad cheaper than the popular weekend brunch menu. Note, though, that the menu changes quite often, so neither items may still be available, but I would trust that their other items would be just as good if not better.

The fried rice came with spicy sausage, poached eggs and pickled radishes, and it was just a beautiful medley of spices and flavors in a bowl. Not sure if it was just in my head, but it kind of tasted like kimchi fried rice except with a less acidic and slightly sweeter notes. Either way, the eggs were poached to perfection, the sausage — which was barely spicy at all — was sweet and juicy, and the pickles were oh-so-fresh.

Southern fried rice ($14)

The sandwich was just as good. I loved the tender pulled chicken with the bright salsa verde, and let me tell you: There's nothing more satisfying than poking a perfectly poached egg and watching its yolk ooze out and travel down into your sandwich (hnnnngggg). It came on a slightly toasted, albeit a bit too buttery for me, brioche bun, and on the side were some home fries (so crispy!) and a light, but slightly oversalted, salad. 

Pulled chicken sandwich ($14)

My friend and I were incredibly impressed with both dishes; I'm actually salivating writing about it right now.

I also really enjoyed the setup and decor of this place. The rustic yet clean decor and furniture helped give the restaurant a slightly sophisticated but still homey vibe, and I loved every bit of it, including this cute postcard and clothespin attached to our bill.

Back of our bill

I imagine the venue would be quite intimate and romantic during dinner, but not uncomfortably dim and stuffy, making this a good spot for both dates and friends/family (well, maybe not children) gatherings.

The only reason for the not-so-perfect star rating in my book is the service, which was neither bad nor good. It was relatively quick, and our server was, well, very neutral — he didn't seem too friendly but also not rude or cold.

Also, I personally think it's a liiiiiittle pricey for what the dishes are. The portions are decently generous, but $14 for fried rice and a chicken sandwich seemed a little hiked up for me.

But obviously, everything else (mostly the food) really makes up for any drawbacks this place may have. Northern Spy Food Co. definitely lived up to its hype, and yes, I will be coming back.


  1. The sandwich looks delicious. The chalkboard sign looks incredibly unimaginative hahaha

  2. Northern spy also does a sunday night dinner special- 3 courses for $27. The menu changes every week but its a great deal for their food.