The Breslin Brunch Brigade

I’m way too type A to do stuff like this.  I like plans.  Not knowing what or when is happening stresses me out.  I get invisible hives.  Okay maybe I don’t get invisible hives, but I DO get super cranky and irritable…same thing, really…
So to go to the “no brunch reservations” Breslin this weekend was waaayyyy out of my comfort zone.  The Breslin is a gastropub run by April Bloomfield that is supposed to have delicious food and a trendy, chic, modern English Gentleman’s club feel.  And no brunch reservations.  But I did really want to try the food, and the hostess was very sweet to our large group. So…okay.  I was game.  We put our name in at 11:30 and was told that there would be a 20 minute wait.  20 minutes-no prob!  we don’t even need a drink at the bar in that case!  At 30 minutes, I fought my way through the packed dining room to ask about our table.  Oh she was wrong…the table we needed just got their food…another 30 minutes…at about 35 minutes, she came and got us.  YAYYY-really, not too bad a wait after all…

but then she told us “false alarm”-she meant to call another group.  At this point, though she was sweet, I really thought it was not handled well.  She full on brought us up, to the table, and then said-whoops.  We could have at least been offered some orange juice or something-I’m not some freeloader, I just think that when this many mistakes are made, something should be done.  The people using the table we needed had already paid, and she wouldn’t even go up and ask them to vacate the table.  Long story short…we sat down at 1:07.  Not ridiculous if we had been quoted an hour and a half, but considering the circus we had to go through to get there…it was totally ridiculous.  So far…not too happy. Although, to be fair, the hostess was extremely apologetic and kind.  Just not too effective.

We were THRILLED to sit down, and knew exactly what we wanted to order since we had AMPLE time to peruse the menu. The decor, incidentally, is totally fun and perfect for a date or a casual lunch with a friend.  

We started with the fried peanut and banana sandwich with bourbon and vanilla.  Okay, I’ll admit it…my mood started to lift.  Peanut butter and “fried” tend to act as antidepressants.  Imagine the light, pull apart texture of a yeast donut, but not sweet.  Just the bready dough.  Then fill that with creamy, sweet peanut butter and rich slices of just ripe bananas. Then fry that.  And douse it in powdered sugar.  Yeah, it was that good.

Though I couldn’t detect the Bourbon, I swear I was drunk after one bite of this.  Rich, nutty, smooth, creamy, and piping hot-this was really outstanding.  It’s hot temperature made the peanut and banana mixture meltingly creamy instead of overwhelmingly heavy.  The unsweetened bread made for a perfect contrast to the rich interior and sweet, sugary topping.  Though this would be a total gut bomb were I to eat a whole one, splitting this amongst a couple friends was an amuse bouche from my wildest dreams!

For my entree, I got the herbed Caesar salad with anchovy croutons.  This was an absolutely sensational salad!  A parsley heavy dressing was pungent, garlicky, creamy, but not heavy or cloying.  The fried parsley on top added a crispy, salty herbaceous note…really wonderful! The romaine was crisp and stood  up well to the properly administered (HATE too little dressing on my salad)dressing.  The slivers of anchovies on top were fork tender, salty umami bombs that paired perfectly with the nutty showers of Parmesan cheese. The croutons were thick, crunchy, and obviously homemade.  This was an exemplary salad that asked only for…
…a side of fries.  You didn’t think I was JUST getting a salad, did you?  Silly fools.  I got their thrice cooked chips with cumin mayo and house made pickles.  These fires were also perfection!  Somewhere in between shoestring and steak fries, these were thick enough to be hearty but thin enough to be crunchy.  Barely salted, so that the true potato flavor shone through, these fries were wonderful.  With the zippy, spicy cumin accented mayo, it was a frite lover’s fantasy.  My only wish is that there were MORE…but, then, that really isn’t a complaint, is it? :)

And those pickles.  DUDE!!! Those pickles were seriously magic in my MOUTH.  Garlic, pepper, and onions all invaded my tongue with the sharp, vinegary bite of the pickles.  Really…these were the best pickles I have had in a VERY long time.   I wanted more pickles, and that really IS a complaint ;)
The meal was delicious, the prices reasonable, and the atmosphere fun and trendy.  Unfortunately, the hostess’ continued snafus really colored my enjoyment of the entire meal.  It could be that I am just not used to waiting for a meal, but I really think that she could have handled the situation a little better.  In conclusion, I would definitely come back for lunch or dinner service, but doubt I will try brunch again.  Even the pull of the fried sandwich just can’t pull me there.

Comments

  1. Joanne says:

    I am totally a planner as well. I'm all about making reservations. And knowing where we're going. Otherwise i break out into hives. Seriously.

    This place looks awesome except for that hostess. Fried and peanut butter was all you had to say.

  2. JustinM says:

    Many people I know – including the love of my life – love brunch, but I hate it with a passion I reserve for few other things. I have never once had a brunch that I enjoyed. Have I had good food? Yes. But have I ever said "I will return here for brunch?" Nope.

  3. Michele B. says:

    Sarah, fun times!! First of all, the Ace Hotel is my FAVORITE hotel in NYC right now. Love the lobby, the bar, the rooms, the COFFEE (Stumptown baby) and my meal at the Breslin when I was there in March was yum. I loved the vibe of the room too.

    I'm sad your initial experience was marred by the hostess mix-up.

    I want those pickles, by the way….I LOVE pickles.
    Great post, as always!!

  4. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Joanne-I am so glad someone understands me instead of mocks me!!
    @JustinM-I really can love brunch. But this one…I wanted to love…but I landed solidly in your "anti brunch" court.
    @Michele-The lobby is SO beautiful!! I am super into the decor as well! And I have some FAB pickles to take you to try when you come here…I should have known you and I both have pickle love!

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  1. [...] you don’t want a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich this time of year. I get that. But how about showing some summer fruit some love in a muffin-cake [...]

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