Why does brunch always seem cheaper than it really is? Because most places nail you on the drinks. But not at two places where a meal and a weekend-morning buzz can be achieved for $12 and under. (Note: Our list originally included KitchenBar in the South Slope, but it’s since closed. So please don’t go there and be mad.)
Apartment 138 is that restaurant where you can invite Manhattanites without guilt, not merely because it’s just two blocks from the F train. Included with their $12 full brunch is a basket of banana mini-muffins (those alone would cost you $12 in Manhattan), coffee or tea, and a choice of Bloody Mary, mimosa, or PBR can. As if we’re having PBR instead of bloodies! Order the orange-infused French toast or the avocado, chorizo and egg sandwich. Over in Prospect Heights, Cheryl’s Global Soul is that rare place where the price includes a cocktail and coffee, but only your first cup. We love the wood-paneled-sauna look of the tiny, exuberant spot where you want to be friends with all of the people who work there and some of the ones who eat there too. There are five good choices under $12, but the $12.95 poached eggs over salmon hash is worth the extra buck.
Apartment 138, brunch 11 to 3:30, Saturdays & Sundays. 138 Smith St., 718-858-0556, www.apt138.com
Cheryl’s Global Soul, brunch 10 to 4, Saturdays & Sundays. 236 Underhill Ave., between Eastern Parkway and Lincoln Place, 347-529-2855, www.cherylsglobalsoul.com