February 28th, Do or Dine. We “ooohed”. We “aaaahhhed.” We ATE EEEEVERYTHING!
GGB NYC recently had a Studio Ghibli Themed Brunch. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while now and it turns out it’s a theme that a ton of brunchettes were really passionate about! #GhibliBrunchNYC booked up in just a few days! The NYC Brunchettes REALLY love some Ghibli! For those not familiar Studio Ghibli is the animation studio of Hayao Miyazaki that began in the mid 80s. His sweet, nostalgic films focus on female heroines, empathy, selflessness and fantasy. Miyazaki is obsessed with post-war Japan, airplanes, ecology and adolescence. He is a true artist and amazing story teller! You may have heard of his film, Spirited Away, because it won an Oscar in 2003. He’s also the creator of the much loved My Neighbor Totoro. They’ve done homages to Miyazaki on The Simpsons and even Bob’s Burgers. Studio Ghibli is also home to several other talented story tellers (although fan feelings are pretty mixed about the work of Miyazaki’s son, Goro) so if you haven’t seen a Studio Ghibli film yet you should absolutely check them out! You are sure to find something that appeals to you! Complicated and heroic female characters, empathetic monsters, dragons, flying ships of a hundred designs, love and friendship conquering all and so much animated food! SO. MUCH.
Speaking of food, with the Ghibli theme in mind, the brunchettes were spirited away to Brooklyn where they enjoyed the whimsical and witty offerings of Food Network Star Justin Warner’s Do or Dine! The menu sported food named after our favorite Ghibli films and a nod (well more like full color illustration) to that model of public transportation, The Catbus!
Upon approaching Do or Dine, you’re welcomed by a bright yellow awning. A remnant of the space’s former occupant. It’s absurdly charming, and a hint at the humor and whimsy to come. The space looks unassuming at first glance, but allow your eyes to wander and they’re sure to come across several easter eggs hidden in plain sight. Skull & crossbones in the tile, and embedded in the bar. Captain America’s shield proudly on display. A friendly reminder to diners that this place is run by geeks.
Co-owners bartender extraordinaire and lord of logistics Luke Jackson, and Celebrity Chef Justin Warner wear their geek pride on their sleeves. They are geniuses with great palettes. One of several reasons we knew we’d be well taken care of. And goodness, were we ever in the best hands. In fact, Luke and Justin were on site the entire time actually working front of house. Is this what it’s like to be a spirit in the bathhouse being waited on? If you told us Do or Dine is where the mighty and wizened spirits of legend go for brunch, We’d believe you.
We started simply enough with the distribution of mimosas that–if you stopped to say hi to a friend–you’d think were magically refilling themselves…. AND THEN THE FOOD CAME. AND THEN…. IT KEPT COMING.
We’d intended for this brunch to be very much about the BRUNCH. Food often plays an important role in Ghibli films, so we wanted to provide the girls with an opportunity to experience some of those flavors, and really treat our tastebuds to a memorable adventure, having fun along the way. And Do or Dine knows how to have fun with it’s food.
“Egg on a Cliff by the Seaweed” for example, the name, a nod to Ponyo, should win some kind of award for most imaginative burger. It was battered, fried, stuffed with cheese, topped with a quail egg, seaweed, and “tomato” which is in fact a gel disc of bloody mary mix. It arrived to the table atop a cliff of golden brown tater tots. YES. Biting into creativity and humor is far more satisfying than a sesame bun any day.
For the grand finale, the tables were graced with plates of sweet potato fry bread and a spiced nutella whip. Not overly sweet. Indulgent without being rich and heavy. You’d swear Kiki had delivered dessert fresh from the bakery herself.
We had a ton of generous Etsy shop sponsors for Studio Ghibli brunch! Please check out their shops by clicking on the shop name and tell them Geek Girl Brunch sent you!
Sugar Panic makes amazingly cute bows featuring scenes from your favorite Ghibli films (with a focus on couples)! They are a subtle accessory for even the most discerning geek!
Manga Snack’s book mark were a hit at brunch! So colorful, so cute and printed on very sturdy, high quality materials! Perfect for marking your spot in a favorite book, kawaii enough to make your friends take notice!
Willy Wimbles earrings are so incredibly cute! You will be sad you can’t see them dangling from your own ears and find yourself checking out your reflection all day! Lookit those tiny bows on the Kiki earrings! LOOK AT THEM!
The phone charms from Complex Wish were much talked about at Ghibli Brunch! They are double sided and very sturdy! We may have observed some heated trade negotiations amongst brunchettes who wanted those charms like air!
Colorful and singular buttons from Caroline’s Commissions are cute enough to wear to work and geek enough to adorn your jackets and/or totes by the hundreds! So wee and soo adorable!
We joked that the fluffy Soot Sprite pins from QuietSide Arts Studio were just little orphans looking for forever homes! Thankfully at brunch they were adopted! Though they may look alarmed have no fear, they are loved! Get your own!
The combination of fashionable fabric and iconic Ghibli characters on these bows from Nerdie Birdie Bows meant that Brunchettes had to immediately wear them! Even if they were already sporting bows of their own! Who says you should only wear one?!
Quite possibly the most coveted item at Ghibli Brunch was the Jiji mug from Never Too Young! We raffled it off to those who shared their latest #GGBDoBetter stories! Well earned, well deserved!
If you host it, they will come. Honoring the spirit of Ghibli, our afternoon reception played host to a well known cast of characters that were all too happy to make an appearance, including a post hair crisis Howl, No-Face, Totoro, Kiki (okay, maybe several Kikis) and Princess Mononoke herself, San. Not to mention that all the magic and commotion brought out the soot sprites. Seriously, they were everywhere!
To make #GhibliBrunchNYC that much more awesome we raffled off a few prizes! Art books, the original Princess Mononoke story, a fluffy cat bus plush and some Ghibli keychains were all raffled away to brunchettes near the end of brunch (never end, Ghibli Brunch!)
Thanks go to all the brunchettes who came, who FEASTED on the wonderful fare from Do or Dine. Thank you to the Do or Dine staff. We heart you. We will definitely be back for those promised video games in the backyard! Thanks for having us!
“Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.”
― Hayao Miyazaki