Cafe Cortadito Exterior

Our last #MiniMimosaholic took us to alphabet city where we indulged in the amazing Cuban food at Café Cortadito. I have been to Café Cortadito at least 5 times, with groups of friends, with just 2 people, for birthdays and for my birthday. I’ve even attended with Casandra, of Food Before Love, on yet another brunch date of ours. Each time, the food and service is impeccable, and I do not ever remember seeing anyone leave hungry or dissatisfied. The restaurant is small compared to other popular brunch spots so book in advance, and, prepare to wait outside because there isn’t any waiting area inside.

My favorite part of brunch at Café Cortadito is the wide array of bottomless drink options that they offer. They have everything from margaritas to mojitos, sangria, and even beer. The mimosaholic in me always goes for the tropical mimosas which are a fruity twist on the traditional mimosas. This time around, we got a pitcher of the champagne mojitos and although I am usually a fan of mojitos, these were my favorite honestly. The added champagne made it a lot stronger than expected and I found myself babysitting my drink. Next, we tried the champagne margaritas, but these were even stronger than the mojitos and almost difficult to finish. So, trust me and stick to the tropical mimosas or white sangria.

Cafe Cortadito Exterior
Photo by www.cafecortaditolacuisinedecubanyc.com

Now to the delicious Cuban food. I’ve tried everything from the french toast to the lobster Benedict, but opted to try something new since everything I’d had thus far had been amazing. This time around I went for the ropa vieja which is a traditional Cuban dish consisting of shredded/stewed beef and vegetables. This one was not only filling but also super juicy and you could taste so many Cuban flavors going to work as you chew. YUM! A few other favorite dishes included the calentado which was a steak with a fried egg on top, served with rice, and a sweet plantain omelet.

Overall, Café Cortadito is still a spot I highly recommend for brunch, and was a great spot for our second monthly brunch meetup. This brunch ended with some guests talking about the Little Italy in the Bronx, and hosting a #MiniMimosaholic there. So, Bronx followers, be on the lookout, you’re up soon!

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Brunch Meal Essex Restaurant

The Lower East Side is one of my favorite neighborhoods to go to when I’m in the need of brunch. So of course, for the first #MiniMimosaholic we went to the LES staple Essex to try out their brunch. We went on a Sunday around 1:30 and it was pretty packed so I would suggest getting a reservation in advance to avoid a long wait. Essex has a downstairs level which has a few tables and the bar, and we were seated upstairs on the balcony level that was overlooking the bar below.

Mimosas Essex Restaurant

First the drinks. Essex offers unlimited mimosas, bloody mary’s, and screwdrivers, but our table stuck to the mimosas. We all know that nothing is worse than a bad mimosa. Either the ratio is too much orange juice, or the champagne tastes cheap, you know the ones. Well Essex has neither of these problems! The mimosas had the perfect OJ to champagne ratio, that being more OJ of course, and our waitress made sure that our glasses were never empty.

Brunch Essex Restaurant

I was so excited to see that Essex offered my all-time favorite brunch item, lobster Benedict. I have high expectations for my Benedict’s and this one didn’t disappoint. There was a lot of lobster on the dish, and it was very flavorful and juicy. It came with some home fries that were crispy just as I like it. Other guests went for the classic steak and eggs, and based on how quiet the table was once the food arrived, I am sure it tasted great!

Guest Essex Restaurant

Another thing I loved about Essex was that as our 2 hours of bottomless came to an end, our waitress topped our glasses off and let us know we could continue the fun downstairs at the bar. Once down there, we indulged in more laughs and mimosas, which the bartender kept flowing for us for at least another hour. We also ordered some hand-cut French fries which were to die for. It was a great start to our #MiniMimosaholic series!

Brunch Meal Essex Restaurant

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Zengo Thai Chicken Empanadas

It’s been a long time since I last visited Zengo but the memories are still pleasant. This particular occasion, was for the birthday of a dear friend who knows how to brunch in style. It not so easy to find brunches that are this fun in the city anymore, bottomless and with great food. Rare find for sure. Zengo also host private parties on their upper level and the free coat check is a relief. Who wants to get aioli sauce on their jacket?

Zengo Mimosas

The brunch options at Zengo are unlimited so you’re welcome to order everything, which indeed we did. They also have about 8 different brunch cocktails that you’re welcome to switch out as much as you’d like. I recommend you try them all until you find your favorite but note that the bottomless clock starts soon as you sit down. If anyone else is late to the party, they will regret it! There were a few crowd favorites amongst us, especially the Mexican chocolate waffle. Don’t leave without it if you like sweets.

Zengo Shrimp Ceviche

 

We started light with the shrimp ceviche but it was more of a cold salad than anything else. Because Zengo is a Latin and Asian fusion restaurant, the Thai citrus flavors were prominent. Fresh melon adorned the dish but it was really more of an appetizer and we were still left with plenty of room. The sushi rolls were more than enough for everyone and it was perfect that they provided vegetarian options for those who wanted.

Zengo Lobster Chipotle Grits

 

The lobster grits also didn’t have the usual consistency grits should have but it was great for bread dipping. The hints of lobster were surely hints but definitely present. The fried chicken was one of the heartiest thing we ordered and it was a juicy addition to some of the starches we ordered.

Zengo Plantains

Pouring cheese over plantains has been something I’ve been more willing to try since my visit to Bodega Negra. There’s just something about crema fresca or cotija over sweet plantains that gets me going. These are what brunch dreams are made of.

Zengo Thai Chicken Empanadas

Another Zengo favorite were the Thai chicken empanadas. They had just the right amount of spice to them and the sweetness of the mango salsa brought it all together. The empanadas were perfectly fried and stuffed with enough chicken to leave us all full. Because we all got to share plates and Zengo was so accommodating, I’d say it was a great place for a group or occasion.

By the way, if you’re looking for quality prescription glasses online at affordable prices because you want to brunch in style, check out Glasses USA. They have a huge selection of stylish in-house brands and you can find me at brunch, sporting mine. See what they’re offering here.

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Randolph Beer Brooklyn Dish

Brunch is extremely popular at Randolph Beer in Brooklyn and I was ready to find out why. Getting an earlier reservation was the best idea I had all weekend because mid-meal, the line was out the door. The vibe at Randolph Beer is down to earth, a little eclectic, and fun. I’m here for fun vibes over brunch. Since it was only a party of two, we were seated at a high table which I hated. The table seemed far two small for us both and our food but now I know to come with a party of 3 or more. This wasn’t going to stop the fun, as I ordered a $25 pitcher of their Strawberry Cucumber Fizz.

Randolph Beer Brooklyn Guest

I was being ambitious for ordering this pitcher but it was refreshing and packed a punch. I loved that the restaurant wasn’t too loud and everyone seemed to be having their own things going on, despite how busy it was. Since I arrived with an appetite, I ordered the breakfast nachos. The nachos came with sharp cheddar & jack cheese, baked eggs, black beans, ranchero sauce and pulled pork. This meal was hearty and I was unprepared.

Randolph Beer Brooklyn Pitcher

Randolph Beer Brooklyn Breakfast Nacho

There’s nothing like picking up the perfect chip with all the toppings and taste that combination. It must have been what the chef intended when he created this dish and it was exactly what I got. The breakfast nachos are great for friends who want to share. It can overwhelming trying to tackle the meal alone and even more so if you’re making it through a pitcher. My friend ordered the pulled pork Benedict which was accompanied by a perfect batch of waffle fries. This should be the next brunch experience you put on your to eat list.

Randolph Beer Brooklyn Eggs Benedict

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Cafe D'Alsce Mimosas

Wish I could tell you that I enjoyed brunch at Cafe D’Alsce but I didn’t. I live close enough to the restaurant to have taken it for granted, which I did, even though I had heard so much about it. But this day was going to be different, because I was finally going to see what the hype was about. It was already busy and the weather was great. I had made a reservation for four and I didn’t think I’d run into any issues. We looked forward to sitting outside, basking in the sun.

Cafe D'Alsce Mimosas

Per usual, they weren’t too keen on sitting the party of three without the fourth person there. Since there aren’t typically any tables for three, we would have to be seated at a four top regardless so I didn’t see the sense in waiting. This is a normal practice so I didn’t sweat it, I just really wanted a mimosa. After we were seated, we waited for someone to take our order as we over analyzed what we were in the mood for. And we waited some more, and some more. We finally were able to order a pitcher of mimosas and I went for the steak and eggs.

Cafe D'Alsce Brunch

This is when brunch went left. I ordered my steak medium, but it came well done and extremely tough. I wasn’t even able to cut through it and my waiter was no where to be found. The disappointment didn’t end there. Because we had waited so long to order, it didn’t make sense to send it back and there was already meal that had been forgotten. My friend was waiting for his meal for quite some time before the waiter realized. Unfortunately, it was now the wrong dish once it was brought back around. Again, no waiter in sight. It was truly a let down to receive such second hand service, and over cooked steak. With no one else being truly impressed, it’s safe to say we won’t be back to Cafe D’Alsce.

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Yatenga Brunch Steak Sandwich

Because I’m from Harlem, people are always asking where I eat in the neighborhood, and Yatenga has our stamp. I’m not sure if people know how great the food is up here because I’m always able to grab a seat but I am not mad at that, at all.  I’ve been a few times, and the service is pretty decent on average. I love the brunch staff at Yatenga though, and find them to be the most pleasant and attentive. Who wouldn’t think so, when you can get a mimosa pitcher all to yourself?

Yatenga Mimosa

Decor wise, Yatenga is full of vibrant colors and even more vibrant food lovers. They’re somewhat tucked away on Adam Clayton unless you’re familiar with Shrine which is run by the same owner. I know it took me too long to get up there so I encourage you to try it out now that you know about it. Yatenga is also great in the evening time when it’s full of Harlem’s night owls vying for drinks.

Yatenga Harlem

I actually ended up looking it up on foursquare before coming by and saw that Joy from Joblogues had the steak sandwich which was all the rave. How could she steer me wrong? Now every time I go, I try not to order it. It’s so amazing you won’t even look at the other menu items. The steak is served on ciabatta which is a thicker bread but it’s great if you’re looking for a hearty meal. The bread isn’t stiff either and the steak which is a grilled hanger steak, is a burst of smokey textured greatness.

Yatenga Brunch Steak Sandwich

A fried egg is served on the sandwich and you can order with or without it. But the real winner here are the mixed green which I’ve gone back and ordered just a side of. I’m not sure what dressing is on this salad, it’s probably a lot simpler than I think it is but it’s amazing. When do you know me to brag about greens? But Yatenga has made them refreshing, fun, and dare I say, addictive. If you’re going up to Harlem, keep them on your radar.

 

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