Like any good millennial, my Instagram feed is chock-full of avocado toast. I’m swarmed by he bright green spread over a thick piece of toast, sometimes even crowned with a delicately poached egg. Because of this I was compelled to visit The Butcher’s Daughter to try the very dish, so I visited the NoLita cafe, expecting to try the best avocado toast of my life.
I was seated outside when I visited. It was pretty busy and a tight squeeze, so I was forced to sit at a small round table side-by-side with a friend. Despite the claustrophobia, I eagerly ordered the avocado toast as well as the pancakes and the egg sandwich.
The Butcher’s Daughter is all vegetarian. Despite this, the brunch menu is pretty diverse, but still has the typical brunch fare. A large portion of the menu consists of eggs, such as Monterey-style eggs with avocado and salsa.
All three of the dishes I ordered came out at the same time, and were as visually stunning as the photos online. Immediately, I grabbed one piece of avocado toast and took a huge bite. The avocado-to-toast ratio was good, but it tasted disappointedly bland. I was
expecting a fresh taste of avocado, seasoned to perfection, followed by the crunch of bread toasted just right. Instead, the avocado was devoid of flavor and was excessively smushed to be unbearably smooth rather than naturally chunky. The bread wasn’t toasted and had far too much bite. Nothing was special about it; it didn’t differentiate itself. It was literally just toast with avocado on it. This was my first disappointment.
The second came when I tried the pancakes. They were made with rice flour and almond milk, so I knew that it would be healthier than usual. There was a sweet aftertaste but the pancakes were too charred. If you are imagining a fluffy stack of pancakes, forget it. The texture was firm and rice-like, akin to mochi.
The egg sandwich was the most familiar item on the menu. The classic sandwich with eggs, cheese and sourdough toast was topped with kale, avocado and a drizzle of harissa (a chili paste hailing from North Africa) mayo for a twist. The healthy take on a breakfast classic sounded good to me at first, but I didn’t feel like the combination of a harissa mayo and marinated kale went well with the egg and cheese.
I don’t know if I’ll be dining with The Butcher’s Daughter anytime soon. The shop is small and aesthetically pleasing, but the cramped seating and rushed food makes this place like any other bougie New York City cafe.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 12 print edition. Email Lucy Choi Jung at [email protected]