Taking a stab at NYC’s food scene: Jack’s Wife Freda.

When I think of New York City, I think about pound cake. It’s a place where everything is dense and packed together into neat sections, bursting with color and flavor. Every part of the city holds little gems and restaurant nooks tucked away to force both tourists and natives alike to scour for them. I decided to return to NYC for another short trip, eating up as much as I could from its bottomless food scene.

Sunday was an epically fruitful day. The day began with a trip downtown from the Upper West End for brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda, a little Mediterranean destination serving more health-conscious yet still scrumptious fare. The rustic place was clogged with chic New Yorkers on the hunt for brunch, who showed off their black and gray outfits while sipping housemade cantaloupe juice. After poring over the menu, I opted for the elegant rosewater waffle because I was curious to see whether it would actually be infused with strong floral notes.

The presentation was quite simple yet pleasantly bright–the waffle fit nicely on the plate, and sprinkles of fresh berries offered dark blue and red accents while a dollop of Lebanese yogurt and powdered sugar added delicate finishing touches. A small pitcher of light honey syrup followed in their wake.

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I’ve always associated rose with bathwater, like something ancient queens used to perfume their skin. So I wondered how the pairing of rosewater with the classic waffle would fare, and I was delighted to discover that they created a wondrous combination. My knife and fork sank into the waffle’s spongy, soft ridges, then I’d smear on some yogurt, drizzle on some honey, and pop a berry on the end of the fork. And the taste was marvelous–just a hint of rose, enough to infuse my palate with a garden-like flavor that complemented the yogurt’s tartness. I’ve mostly eaten waffles that are given heavy douses of maple syrup and whipped cream, so the unique twist at Jack Wife’s Freda with the lighter accompaniments satisfied my morning’s dainty appetite.

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