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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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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The Federal Miami Quesadillas
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The Federal Miami has been on my To Eat List for a few years now.  So I had very high expectations when I was finally able to make the trip.

I had previously interacted with the restaurant on social media which made me even more excited that I was staying close enough to check out their brunch.

After being seated outside, we were greeted by one of the most amazing servers I have ever had the pleasure to encounter, Everette.

The Federal Miami enchiladas

Honestly, based on the customer service that Everette showed us alone, is enough to go back to The Federal Miami a few more times. He was just that good.

Our bottomless Mimosas were truly bottomless. Sifting through the menu was seamless. Everyone seemed to know what they wanted, but it did help that everything on the menu sounded like it was going to be delicious.

The Federal Miami Quesadillas

Although we could have used another serving of Enchiladas, this and the Quesadillas were perfect dishes to share. The Smoked Brisket and Eggs, however, was the table favorite as it was pure comfort food in a bowl.

The Federal Miami Brunch

Of course, I ordered an item that didn’t allow for sharing. Plus, it was quite messy at that. However, I just couldn’t resist having a breakfast sandwich. Thanks to Everette, who backed up my choice when I was in a decision dilemma.

At first bite, I thought to myself, “Wow! I should have cut this!” It was a lot of sandwich, and yolk, and pork, and sauce oozing all over. I could go on. For the most part, the biscuit itself was tough enough to keep it together, but it was still soft enough for me to enjoy. Adding the runny yolk certainly added to the experience. The texture of the pork was not at all gamy, as I expected, and it was a hearty bite. One that I hope to have again soon.

The Federal Miami Bread Pudding Dessert

Since our entrees were so delicious, we decided to have some dessert. Although, I wasn’t too crazy about it, I do remember the Bread Pudding bowl being empty by the time we departed.

After eating we didn’t leave right away. The Federal Miami is a place where you will want to stick around for a while.

The Federal Miami Dessert

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Cascalote Guacamole

Cascalote Guacamole

Finding a great restaurant is far and a few between. It’s even more rare, to find one in my neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, but always a pleasure when I do. For the past few months, I’ve been keeping Cascalote Latin Bistro a secret but it’s time to share. However, if you rather stay uptown, you can always check out Solace.

Cascalote Punch

Cascalote is located on 109th street, off Second Avenue and you may just miss it if you’re walking by too fast. This quaint restaurant is a mom and pop shop with the parents in the kitchen and their lovely daughters as the wait staff. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here, and I’ve almost had it all. Sometimes they don’t have mimosas, but the punch here is delicious and will give you the same boozy buzz, if not a better one.

Cascalote French Toast

On my first visit, I tried the burger and since then I have had, the steak and eggs, chilaquiles, french toast, pork chop, guacamole, maduros and Brazilian cheese bread. The cheese bread is something I must order every time because it’s so fresh and warm. The cheese flavor is only subtle and it’s a great way to tease your palette.

GO EARLY. Their space is limited but never a long wait and the service staff will always try to accommodate you as much as possible. Again, everything on the menu is worth having so bring your appetite because the portions are healthy.

Cascalote Bread

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