Summer Sunday LES

Manhattan beckoned me from the shores of Maine for several days, and we found ourselves wandering through the Lower East Side, doggies in tow, in search of the perfect spot for an outdoor brunch on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon.

Like an oasis in the desert, Mission Cantina www.missioncantinany.com offered a shady spot on Stanton Street and an enticing menu, including a wonderfully refreshing La Paloma made with tequila and fresh grapefruit juice and classic Micheladas.  The guacamole, perfectly spiced and topped with sunflower seeds and crispy onions, is served with shrimp crisps instead of traditional tortilla chips.  The enchilada burrito -- exactly what it sounds like, an enchilada stuffed inside a grilled flour tortilla -- was a burst of flavor.  And the peppery and cheesy grits were a great accompaniment.

Noted to self, on the way to brunch, Melt Bakery http://www.meltbakery.com on Orchard and their delectable little ice cream sandwiches that are made from scratch -- the ice cream and the cookies -- daily.  So, we doubled back down Orchard after brunch for one of their cool summer treats.  If you must be in New York during the dog days of summer, this is a pretty delicious way to pass a few hours

GUACAMOLE WITH SUNFLOWER SEEDS & CRISPY ONIONS SERVED WITH SHRIMP CRISPS AT MISSION CANTINA NYC

GUACAMOLE WITH SUNFLOWER SEEDS & CRISPY ONIONS SERVED WITH SHRIMP CRISPS AT MISSION CANTINA NYC

LA PALOMA AT MISSION CANTINA NYC

LA PALOMA AT MISSION CANTINA NYC

THE ENCHILADA BURRITO WITH TOMATILLO SALSA AT MISSION CANTINA NYC

THE ENCHILADA BURRITO WITH TOMATILLO SALSA AT MISSION CANTINA NYC

CHEESY AND PEPPERY GRITS AT MISSION CANTINA  NYC

CHEESY AND PEPPERY GRITS AT MISSION CANTINA  NYC

MELT BAKERY NYC

MELT BAKERY NYC

MELT BAKERY NYC

MELT BAKERY NYC

THE S'MORE ICE CREAM SANDWICH AT MELT BAKERY NYC.  GRAHAM CRACKER COOKIES WITH CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW ICE CREAM

THE S'MORE ICE CREAM SANDWICH AT MELT BAKERY NYC.  GRAHAM CRACKER COOKIES WITH CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW ICE CREAM