January 24 2005, 7:30 AM
There are some things you just have to see to appreciate, and a drag queen brunch is absolutely one of them. Bump & Grind on 17th Avenue in uptown (by the Avenue Theater near Pennsylvania St.) has been serving up weekend brunch in full drag fashion for the past six years, and it's been written up in the pages of 5280 plenty of times, but somehow I had managed to avoid it until last weekend. Avoid is perhaps a strong word... I'd heard about this event, but never actually made it to "Petticoat Bruncheon" until Sunday. It's quite an experience, and one that any good downtown resident should really see for themselves. The line is long, forming 30 minutes before the doors open at 10 a.m. But the food is great once you get in. Saucy boys in short skirts and diva do's serve up brunchables like egg roulade with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, and the Mexican Benedict served on a bed of chiles and pineapple cornbread is just to die for, dahhhling. Of course it goes without saying that homophobes should steer clear -- and before I get pounced on by the gender police, I do realize that many cross-dressers are heteros. The homophobes usually don't get that, or care to be open minded on the subject. Point is, this is a gay-friendly establishment, and the crowd is a mix of straight, gay, bi, trans, curious, and ambivalent. Nervous eaters might want to think twice as well. One of my girlfriends called it the "train-wreck effect," because she just couldn't help stare at one server's turquoise thong peeking out beneath his micro-mini. She said it was "jiggling." It took her a minute to recover fully and get back to her poached eggs. So. You will see hairy legs combined with stripper shoes. You may see the ladies of the "Red Hat Society" cheering while a non-red-hat-wearing bearded lady does a lap dance. You'll also see an incredibly hip, artsy-cool crowd enjoying really good food in an incredibly hip, artsy-cool little corner restaurant. You've been warned.