The Bunny Chow ($19) at Red Rooster in Harlem may not have too much to do with the original dish from South Africa, but I still appreciate it for two reasons: First, it's a fun nod to the Indian-influenced African cuisine you find all through Harlem, and second, its effect on the Bourbon Negronis ($15) you drank too many of at the bar the night before.
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Hangover Helper: House Made Merguez, Scrambled Eggs, Roasted Mushrooms, and Potato Cakes From Chez Lucienne in Harlem
I've written about Chez Lucienne in the past. They serve an excellent burger—the best in the neighborhood—and have been serving good food at a decent price with outdoor seating long before the more recent gentrification of the blocks around 125th and Lenox. Warm lazy Saturdays and Sundays are the finest time to go, when the quality of the brunch offerings are matched only by the quality of the people-watching on what I believe to be one of the most interesting intersections in the city.
It's certainly the first, most expensive, and most ambitious bar program in the neighborhood—at least, the first since the end of Jazz-era Harlem's golden age. The menu is split evenly between modern takes on classics and completely new drinks, occasionally drawing on Scandinavian and Dutch imports and flavors—genever, caraway, Heering liqueurs and the like—a nod to Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Swedish upbringing.