A few weeks before going to New York I watched a documentary called I Like Killing Flies about a small breakfast and lunch spot in lower Manhattan. It's run by an guy named Kenny Shopsin who has a very unique, almost ineffable personality. The best description I can give of him is that he's just very honest about himself and others - a quality I find lacking in most people. Combine that with the fact that he's very nice yet blunt and you get Kenny Shopsin:
Just before I went back to Chicago I caught an F train to the Essex St.-Delancy stop and ate breakfast at Shopsin's located at 120 Essex Street. They've changed storefronts since the documentary was made. The place had seating for maybe 15 people tops.
I actually met Kenny Shopsin too. He sat about five feet to my left conversing with customers (which seemed more like friends who ate there a lot) the entire time I ate. He was really nice and fun to talk to. Apparently his brother is an architect who teaches at Pratt... which is funny because just hours before I spoke with a friend who told me that he's starting a sort of environmental architecture program at Pratt in the Fall. Crazy stuff. It's only once you start talking to people, anyone really, that you find out how similar we all really are.
Anyways, the menu (1,2) is huge and really original. I had the Iliana which consisted of a egg and cheese omelet, mangoes, guacamole, chips, and refried rice. It was really good.