Leaving Ice & Vice the other day, my friends and I noticed a cute little restaurant on Clinton Street in the East Village and stopped to stare in awe at the menu – we would gladly have ordered anything on it.
We were especially intrigued by the acai bowls since it was a Brazilian restaurant and seemed to be authentic. So like the good little Bucket List builders that we are, we snapped a picture in the hopes of one day returning.
I fully expected it to disappear into the depths of my phone, but when we went to the Lowline Lab (a cool concept, but you might want to just wait until the real park opens) a few weekends later, we were throwing out lunch options in the area and realized we were really close! Instead of waiting an hour for a seat in El Rey, we headed over to Galeria and were instantly seated at one of the coolest tables ever.
Yes, the table was cool. And it was for sale, since Galeria is part restaurant/part art gallery!
Here’s the run down on our brunch!
1. Pao De Queijo
If you have never had these little Brazilian cheese balls you are MISSING OUT. Get to the nearest Brazilian restaurant ASAP and have your mind blown by these traditional cheesy popovers.
The first time I tried one was at my birthday brunch at Calle Ocho two years ago and that day I ended up smuggling out a half dozen in my purse.
If you’re picturing liquidy cheese inside of bread – it’s not like that at all. The cheese is much more incorporated into the dough. You can’t tell where the bread stops and the cheese starts and it’s like a big interconnected ball of love. The circle is round, it has no end, that’s how long I want to eat pao de queijo.
2. Acai Bowl
We knew we had to try an authentic acai bowl, and we had ours additionally topped with almonds and honey. All of their acai bowls come with banana, granola and coconut! There were a ton of other options, but at $1 each, it could get really pricey!
This was great – but the smoothie was a little less solid than I would have liked. That’s completely a personal preference though, and flavor wise this was one of the best acai bowls I’ve had. We all agreed it was definitely top notch.
3. Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl
This was hands down our favorite part about lunch at Galeria and a dish I would go out of my way to eat again.
This “unusual bowl” came with a poached egg, pine nuts, coconut, bulgar, herbs, cauliflower, tahini and a pomegranate dressing.
The combination of pomegranate, pine nuts and coconut was what really kicked this bowl up a notch. We all couldn’t stop raving about it.
And did I mention that it was SO BEAUTIFUL and Instagrammable?
4. Pesto Tofu and Spinach Tapioca Sandwich
I still don’t really know how to explain this tapioca sandwich – the bread was brittle and crackery but also spongey? It was a very interesting consistency and though it took some getting used to, by the end I was enjoying it.
I think I liked this the most out of the three of us, but that’s because I’m absolutely in love with pesto and you could put pesto on anything and I would be a fan!
I would be really interested in trying their sweet version of the tapioca sandwich which comes with chocolate and berries.
I would HIGHLY recommend this spot if you’re looking for a delicious, healthy, trendy brunch with your girlfriends but don’t feel like waiting an hour on the sidewalk for a seat. It doesn’t have a ton of seating, but it wasn’t crowded when we went at around 1 on a Sunday which is prime brunching hours.