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Good News/Bad News: Permanent Brunch

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East Village: When the much-delayed Lesly Bernard project Permanent Brunch officially opened late last month, people lined up from the get-go for their nonstop brunch offerings, which include an artisanal bacon bar and all sorts of other rich, breakfasty items. As for critical feedback, it's not looking great for the place. People don't necessarily bash the food, but many claim that the portions are small and overpriced, that the place doesn't have its act together (they've run out of food on more than a few occasions), and that the space is overwhelmingly kitschy—all things that can be fixed at this early stage. To the first reports:

The Great News: Well, the brunch zealots like it. IHeartBrunch.com does dinner at the restaurant and finds that "All in all, Permanent Brunch conjures up images of brunch, while the food, flavors and atmosphere are all more sophisticated than you’d traditionally associate with brunch. I’m sure that was the intent of owner Lesly Bernard and Chef Meg Grace and so far they’ve succeeded. We’ll definitely be back for dinner." They specifically like the "excellent service," savory ham and cheese stuffed french toast, the "delicious mess" that is the chicken and waffle dish, and of course, the artisanal bacon bar. [IHB]

The Mixed News: Twenty-four Yelpers have chimed in, and the restaurant has a less than stellar three-star rating for food. Some think it's "cute, fun, and well-executed," while many others criticize variations on the following: "poor execution, food isn't there yet, service isn't great, it isn't cheap for what it is, long wait, hot, no iced coffee, currently cash only." [Yelp]

The We Guess It's Good News: The Manhattan Healthy Food Examiner (seriously) likes the place plenty. Read it in all its glory here. [Examiner]

The Not So Good News: Two of the four Menupagers who've posted reviews do like the food, but it's unanimous that the portions are small and the prices are too high: "They came out with our side of bacon. A laughable 2 strips, rationed into 4 pieces so each of us could try a bit. The petite portions did not end there. The entrees were very small, with the exception of the skirt steak, which was a normal size. By the end of the meal, we left the restaurant hungry and disappointed." One detractor goes as far as to say, "This place is utterly ridiculous its actually humorous. I know it just opened but nothing was done right - food ran out and took an hour for eggs, air conditioner leaking, hot indoors, cash only accepted and, above all, the hostess does not seat when there are open tables cause the kitchen cant handle the 10 tables in the joint." [Menupages]

The Pretty Tasty, But Come On News: Shecky's has no particular gripes about the quality of the food, except for maybe the saltiness, but feels that the place is nothing more than an overpriced fad: "Like a McSweeney’s take on T.G.I.Friday’s kitsch, this place offers the inevitable soundtrack of 80s hits in the background and subway paraphenlia on the walls. Foodwise, Permanent Brunch is the sort of place that unabashedly charges $4 for a biscuit. Anyway, it’s a good biscuit, and the warm smiles of the attractive staff almost make it seem like a deal. This is the story across the board; you pay about twice as much as you should to get half as much as you want, although most of the food is pretty tasty?especially if you like the taste of salt. Still, the whole thing’s pretty damn ersatz as far as brunching goes (artisinal bacon, anyone?) and we predict that even the restaurant's moniker won't keep the appeal permanent." [Shecky's]

The Twitterific News: On the positive end, @Tmsnelgrov has a "yummy dinner" and @mcscofield thinks "it's sinfully indulgent and delicious." On the not so positive end, @reezsa echoes many of the aforementioned criticism: was OK :/ I was hoping for a new experience here but it fell short. Looks good in the menu but just ok in your mouth." [Twitter]
—Gabe Ulla

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