Friday, September 30, 2011

Birthday Brunch Celebration at Calle Ocho

I know I titled my last post "birthday lunch", but the day after my actual birthday I also celebrated with friends at brunch. I haven't really explored many restaurants that serve bottomless drinks with brunch because I feel like the few places I have tried or heard about usually don't serve as great food, and if I must choose between quality food or drink, I'm definitely going for the food.
A few months ago my sister attended a friend's birthday at Calle Ocho and after the meal she came back and raved about the drinks and food. When I called the restaurant to make a reservation a week before my birthday, all I'd said was "Hi, can I make a brunch reservation for next weekend?" And without asking me about the size of my party or what time I wanted, the hostess replied "Everything's full. We recommend making bookings at least 6 weeks in advance." Devastated, I tweeted that I needed to find a plan B. Calle Ocho then replied to my twitter and asked how many people I wanted to reserve for and for what date. Magically they made it happen! Via Twitter! I was thoroughly impressed.

Okay now onto the restaurant experience...

I definitely did not take enough pictures. The bread basket-- AMAZING. It was filled with warm cheese bread, corn bread, blueberry muffins and other scrumptious carbs. The basket was also accompanied by strawberry butter!

Our server was very accommodating and fun. He checked back on us often throughout the meal.

The brunch entrees come with a variety of unlimited sangrias (for no additional charge).

Cuban Sandwich, $14: roasted pork, panela basted ham, swiss cheese, pickles, chimichurri fries. The bread for this sandwich really tasted like Chinese biscuits/ 燒餅. The fries were very crispy and deliciously seasoned.

Vaca Frita, $18: cuban skirt steak, rice, tomato escabeche, avocado, fried eggs. I ordered this dish and really enjoyed it. The beef was tender and tasty, and the eggs were perfectly runny.

Other dishes my friends ordered:

Frita Cubana, $15: cuban style burger, seasoned beef and pork patty, red onions, chimichurri fries, chipotle ketchup.

Tortilla Espanola, $16: spinach frittata with asparagus, potatoes, piquillo peppers and wild mushrooms over a crab enchilada.

Calle Ocho Omelet, $14: country omelet with tomato and manchego cheese.

Quesadillas del Salvador, $14: soft tortillas, chipotle chicken, asadero cheese, curtido, avocado, crema nata.

Excelsior Hotel
45 West 81st Street
New York, NY 10024
Phone number: (212)873-5025

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Calle Ocho on Urbanspoon

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