Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Norma's: Where Funny Adds the Most Flavor

The big menu and complimentary
blueberry pomegranate smoothie shots

I have been hearing about brunch at Norma's for the last two years. Chocolate waffles with peanut butter, Eggs Florentine, The Zillion Dollar Lobster Fritatta that costs a thousand dollars... Norma's was promising a lot. I didn’t know what the appeal was other that it’s claim to fame on The Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Chocolate Decadence French Toast) and that it was housed in Le Parker Meridien (luxury hotel). I expected Norma's to be snooty and indulgent. The description funny never came to mind until I got an email reservation reminder from Open Table.

God bless Open Table. The online reservation process is simple. I had reserved for Norma's more than a month in advance. It was nice to get a reminder a few days before the day.

“Your OpenTable reservation is confirmed at Norma's at Le Parker Meridien.

Done. You’ve booked and you’re ready to go, almost… In preparation for your meal at NORMA’S, this is what the doctor, oops Chef, prescribes:

• 24 hrs to go—print out the menu http://parkermeridien.com/eat.php

• 24-12 hrs to go—show off the menu and seek advice on what to order 
  (yeah, they’re all jealous!)

• 18 hrs to go—aerobic exercise and strength training (preferably the Quickie) 

• Lunch the day before—remember, you’re in training, so have a protein shake

• Dinner the day before—no eating after 7pm—only bread and water allowed

• Night before—dream sweet dreams of beautiful food floating through your subconscious

• Morning of—do a full yoga session with Swami Ramdev Ji 

• Arrive on time and tell me that the “Swami sent you”

• You’ve made it, now time to eat! See you soon, Catherine Farnham Guardian of the Tables”

I haven’t had a laugh off of customer service this hard since I listened to dry jokes told by Serena Williams and Tony Hsieh on the Zappos voice mail.

My party arrived at Le Parker Meridien in our best Sunday dresses. We were greeted with tourists in shorts and teenage girls in Juicy jogging outfits. I shook my head in shame and rolled with it. While Norma’s is an indulgent meal, it isn’t stuffy in the least bit. It’s good food at a price. The brunch wasn't the best thing I ever ate but at least the service was stellar.

Brunch at Norma’s:

If you order coffee, it's one giant motherfucker.

Arepa: Colombian Corn Cake, Eggs Sunny Side Up, Chorizo
James Beard Award Winning Recipe:
Potato Pancakes. Homemade Cranberry Apple Sauce, Sweet Carrot Payasam
Flat-As-A-Pancake Crabcake w/Habanero Pepper, Dill Yogurt Mustard Sauce
119 W. 56th Street
New York, NY 10019


  1. the coffee caption is HILARIOUS! LOL

  2. HAHAH you caught that? In America, we like things BIG.