Jack's Wife Freda

Nothing beats a Saturday afternoon with brunch and booze. And of course, with a bunch of good buddies! Ever since the popular restaurant Jack's Wife Freda started emerging on our Instagram feed, we wanted to try it out to see what the hype was all about. Before we made it to the original restaurant, they already opened a new one in West Village, which we ended up visiting. In the meantime, we did a little research and learned about the history and love story of Jack's Wife Freda.
Simply hearing the name "Jack's Wife Freda" captured my attention as it all started with Maya and Dean Jankelowitz, both co-owners and a married couple, in SoHo. The two based the name on their grandparents and used them as their main inspiration for the restaurant. Not only do they serve a compilation of cuisines, including a mixture of Maya's Israeli culture and Dean's South African background, but they also incorporate Freda's hospitality, warmth, and graciousness giving each customer "a memory of home, of soul, of being, of welcoming."
Good Morning, Freda!
Pimm's No. 1 ($12), Cantaloupe Mimosa ($10)
Recently, family-style is how we like it, so we ordered five dishes among the four of us and a cocktail each. Brunch never seems right without - at least - a drink. To start off, we ordered the insta-famous dish that attracted us over: the green shakshuka! The two baked eggs submerged in a green shakshuka served with challah toast was very light and clean to the taste with a tad of spiciness. The freshness of the shakshuka sauce and the crisp toast created a nice harmony of softness and crispiness. 
Green Shakshuka ($12)
Jack's Breakfast ($20)
The two eggs and grilled skirt steak were cooked exactly the way we wanted them. Eggs over easy and tender, medium steak. I loved eating the egg with the bread as the yolk oozed out onto my sourdough bread adding more flavors and textures to the entire bite! 
Avocado Toast w/ French Fries ($11)
Nowadays, avocado toast is like a must-have item on every menu. Some are made traditional-style while some - like this one at JWF - has a nice twist. The lightly toasted seeded bread is topped with the usual mashed avocado with a dash of homemade cherry tomato jam and pickled julienne carrot slaw and lastly sprinkled with zaatar. The tartness of the tomato jam and the freshness carrot slaw give the avo toast a refreshing, healthy taste. But, of course, we paired it with french fries. We can't be healthy all the time - gotta take a break and treat yourself!

Chicken Kebab ($14)
What I noticed that stood out in all the dishes was the consistency. Never overcooked or undercooked. The Peri-Peri marinated chicken was grilled with fragrant spices retaining its juiciness and tenderness. The couscous was moist and fluffy while the chopped salad was fresh. Another light and healthy dish!
Madame Freda ($15)

My favorite was probably the Madame Freda. It's a popular brunch item, but JWF changes it up by opting for duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, Gruyere cheese to press into a sandwich with a sunny side up egg on top. Each bite was rich and compact with a delicious amount of flavors and textures.

As JWF serves breakfast all day, I would recommend to stay away from brunch hours on the weekend unless you don't mind an hour-long wait. Nonetheless, the ambiance was nothing but lively and upbeat, and the service was excellent and efficient despite of the constant flow of customers.

Hit the Spot: 8/10

Place: Jack's Wife Freda (West Village)
Address: 50 Carmine St., New York, NY, 10014, map
Phone: 646-669-9888
OpenTable: here

Another Location: 224 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012 (SoHo), map
Phone: 212-510-8550
OpenTable: here

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