If brunch means catching up rather than showing off, eat at PJ Bernsteins, on third.
First banish that vestige of a cold (is it swine flu? Do I feel hot to you?) with a nice big bowl of the best chicken soup in New York. They serve a clean, clear consomme and you get to add what you want -- noodles or rice, chicken or not. It's wonderful. And for dessert I had a cup of the borscht -- again, no fuss, just classic and perfect. Beets are good for the liver, so if you went drinking last night,.... My friend had the corned beef hash with two eggs - a gorgeous platter.
It's not hip -- so you skip the loud, self-important groups that haunt EJs, and the few children this morning were all polite and well-tended. The service is warm without being intrusive and the noise level lets you talk.
The food is simple and good -- and reasonable. Two of us ate for $16 each.
1215 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021