Tammany Hall

14 Apr

Tamanny MapPlace: Tammany Hall

Location: Lower East Side, 152 Orchard St. (between Stanton St. & Rivington St.)

Mimosa Rating:

1 1/2 mimosas

The scoop: I randomly came across a Groupon for Tammany Hall, and after viewing the menu, I thought it would be an OK deal to buy.

The inside of Tammany Hall is your typical dark bar. In fact, it was very dark as you can see in the picture below. There wasn’t much seating on the first level, but it was fine since the place wasn’t packed. Also, there is a second floor which overlooks the main area.

tammany hall

Toward the front, there was a stage and a band was setting up. Unfortunately, I was in a rush, so I didn’t have time to hear the music. I imagine that with a good band, the place would be rocking as there is a lot of space for people to dance around.

A lot of the brunchers seemed to have a Living Social or Groupon deal. The waitress was friendly, and she was readily available to answer any questions. I often hear that waitresses get annoyed when people have Groupons, but she didn’t seem bothered by it.

Bottoms up: Tammany Hall has a cheap and boozy brunch special. For $10, you can sip on unlimited mimosas, bloody Marys, Micheladas and domestic drafts for two hours.

Tamanny Hall Drinks

Matt really got me hooked on Micheladas so we both ordered one. Honestly, the michealda was probably the only part of brunch that didn’t disappoint. Served in a tall glass with a salty rim, the drink was very spicy — just how we like them.  The glasses were huge that I was content with just one. Since the deal came with two brunch drinks, I decided to get a beer for my second round. Bud Light was the only option. It was pretty gross and tasted extremely flat. I should have stuck with the Michelada. 

Chew on this:

Tammany Hall Burger $10 (add cheese +$1) / 8 oz. burger topped with lettuce, tomato, and pickles; served with fries or cucumber salad

Tammany burger

I know we weren’t at a gourmet restaurant, but I feel like you can’t really go wrong with a burger at a bar. Wrong! Not only was the burger tiny, it tasted burnt (Matt asked for it medium well). Also, the French fries were not fresh. 

Tomato, mozzarella, basil panini $10 / Served with fries or cucumber salad

Sandwich Tammany

My panini was OK. The bread was crispy and the tomato and mozzarella were fine. The description of the sandwich pretty much says it all. I opted for the cucumber salad which came in a small cup with some onion. I personally thought it was too oily. The dish wasn’t filling, and I think a full salad would have made the meal more complete.

Outside Tammany

The final bite: If you are looking for a cheap and boozy brunch, Tammany Hall could work for you, but don’t expect to have great food. On a positive note, I’m sure the live music will make it a lively atmosphere.

Reviewed by: Victoria

Brunch Beat: 3/28/14

28 Mar


  • Rosette (171 E. Broadway) recently began serving brunch with shrimp and grits and flavor-of-the-day doughnuts.
  • Here are the top 10 brunch dishes that get the folks at Tasting Table out of bed on the weekend.
  • Tasting Table also has the scoop on new brunch menus at Alder (157 Second Ave.) and Estela (47 E. Houston St.).
  • Newly opened Navy (137 Sullivan St.) serves an eye-catching bloody Mary with an oyster on top.


13 Mar

rye_mapPlace: Rye

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 247 S. 1st St. (between Roebling St .& Havemeyer St.)

Mimosa Rating: 

3 mimosas

The scoop:
Rye has your typical South Williamsburg chill, laid-back atmosphere. The mood is set by the dark wood and vintage bar setting, complete with tile floor, giving it an old pub feel. There is a large bar in the main (and only) dining area. There are decent amounts of seating options, and Rye is willing to accommodate a group. I made reservations, but I don’t think it was very necessary, as the restaurant was not terribly crowded.


Chew on this:

Rye’s Meatloaf Sandwich $16 / Duck, veal, pork, short rib, mushroom and crispy buttermilk onion


I am not quite sure what I was expecting this dish to look like, but I was quite overwhelmed when it arrived! It was HUGE and difficult to actually eat because the bread was too toasted. The crispy onions (actually onion rings) were gorging out of the sandwich. I ended up eating the meatloaf separately. The meatloaf was amazing — very different from any combination of meatloaf I have ever had. You could taste the distinct meats. The flavor was delicious, without all of the unnecessary bread, onion rings and sauce (not mentioned on menu). I wanted to love this dish more than I actually did. I would recommend just going for the meatloaf dish if meatloaf is what you’re craving.

Rye Benedict $10 / Grilled pork belly, hollandaise, buttermilk biscuit


This was a great dish. The pork was cooked nicely, although the amount of pork is minimal. The hollandaise sauce was what you would expect. I loved the homemade biscuit. Pretty inexpensive for a Benedict dish. 

Special Omelette $12 / Seasonal filling, mixed greens, sourdough toast

Rye Brooklyn (5)

The seasonal fillings for the omelette were very appropriate for the wintery weather outside. The omelette was cooked just right. The mixed greens and toast on the side slightly added to the dish.

BLT/BLAT $12 / Choice of salad or fries


This was an excellent sandwich. We opted for the BLAT – bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato. What a fantastic combo. It was so refreshing and fresh tasting. I loved the avocado!! They also didn’t skimp out on the bacon.  Although the same bread was used for the meatloaf sandwich, it worked better with the BLAT combination. The side salad was a nice touch.

The final bite: Overall, Rye has a fantastic and extensive menu, mostly centered on meatloaf and other popular comfort foods. Searching pictures of the food at Rye will have your mouth watering. Needless to say, this is a pretty good spot for brunch, but be sure to research what you want before you arrive as there are a lot of tasty options and a few letdowns. Rye can also accommodate a group.


Reviewed by: Erica

Lobster Joint

11 Mar

Map - Lobster JointPlace: Lobster Joint

Location: 201 E. Houston St. (between Ludlow St. & Orchard St.)

Mimosa Rating:

4 1/2 mimosas

The scoop: The Lobster Joint is a pretty cool spot with three locations – Lower East Side, Greenpoint and Rockaway Beach.

Inside Lobster Joint

The location on the Lower East Side was clean, inviting and simple, from the white walls to the bright lights. After we found ourselves seats, we had to go up to the bar area to place our order (or you can do this in the reverse order, but I prefer to grab a good seat first). Please note that if you are brunching with two people, you may have to share a larger table with other patrons. After we placed our order, we received a number and the wait staff served us. If you want coffee, you need to go to a separate stand in the front.

The wait staff was great with serving, and they all seemed to be in a genuinely good mood. We had multiple waiters, and we did not have to wait long for our drinks, food or anything for that matter.

Bottoms up:

Bloody Marys Lobster Joint

The brunch prix-fixe is an amazing deal for quality food. It includes a brunch entrée, coffee and choice of mimosa or lobster claw bloody Mary. Do yourself a favor and order the lobster claw bloody Mary. This glass pretty much had everything you could possibly want in a bloody Mary. Olives, pickles, celery, lime, lemon AND  a lobster claw? Yummy! Not only was it great to look at, the drink was tasty with a good kick.

Chew on this:

Lobster Benedict

Benedict Lobster Joint

The benedict was served on bread, which had a slightly sweet taste, and it was a good combination with the salty bloody Mary. Two perfectly poached eggs were served on each bun with an ample amount of lobster bits. This dish came with your choice of homemade chips, fries or salad. Matt opted for the fries and they were deliciously fresh.

Lobster Rancheros

Rancheros Lobster Joint

Just like Matt, being at the Lobster Joint, I felt like I had to go with a lobster entrée. Since he ordered the Benedict, I chose the rancheros and believe me, I wasn’t disappointed. There were tons of lobster pieces on top served with a crunchy tortilla on the bottom. Pico de gallo and guacamole were placed in separate corners of the dish, which was great once it was all mixed together.  The dish was filling and tasty. I would order it again.

The final bite: For $19, not only do you get a complete brunch meal, you get an abundance of quality food. I was so pleased with the experience that I will definitely be back for more.

outside Lobster Joint

Reviewed by: Victoria

Brunch Beat: 2/22/14

22 Feb


The Bowery Diner (241 Bowery) is closing after this weekend, but there’s still time for one more brunch at the Lower East Side spot. Sunday’s brunch will be their last meal.

Pastis (9 Ninth Ave.), the Meatpacking restaurant made popular by “Sex and the City,” will close its doors on Feb. 28.


Blueberry streusel pancakes at Clinton St.

There’s still time to enjoy Clinton Street Baking Co.‘s (4 Clinton St.) annual pancake month! While their special pancakes aren’t available on weekends, they’ve got Swedish apple, chocolate chunks with strawberries and fresh blackberries with lemon curd on tap for next week.  Victoria and Steph enjoyed the blueberry streusel pancakes earlier this month!

There are a few new brunches in town. Bo’s (6 W. 24th St.) serves up brunch — with monkey bread French toast — starting this Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Another new-to-the-brunch-scene restaurant is Telepan Local (329 Greenwich St.). Their menu includes banana pecan waffles and sourdough pizzettes.

Other recently launched brunches include: Arlington Club Steakhouse (1032 Lexington Ave.) for the meat lover; Golden Cadillac (13 1st Ave.) for the cocktail lover; and The Top of The Standard (848 Washington St) for those who love brunching al fresco.


Colonia Verde (219 Dekalb Ave.) is now open and serving brunch starting at 10 a.m. on weekends.

Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway) has also jumped on the brunch bandwagon.

Brunch Beat: 2/17/14

17 Feb

Have off for Presidents Day and looking for a brunch spot? Check out some of the restaurants that are celebrating with a holiday brunch on Monday.

121 Fulton – 121 Fulton St. (Financial District) – Website

La Villette – 10 Downing St. (West Village) – Read our review!

The Little Owl – 90 Bedford St. (West Village) – Website

MexiBBQ Astoria – 37-11 30th Ave. (Queens) – Website

OAK Restaurant & Wine Bar – 361 Graham Ave. (Brooklyn) – Website

Poco – 33 Avenue B (East Village) – Website

Southern Hospitality – 645 9th Ave. (Hell’s Kitchen) – Website

The Sunburnt Cow – 137 Avenue C (East Village) – Website

Windsor – 234 W. 4th St. (West Village) – Website

Casa Lever

6 Feb

Map - Casa LeverPlace: Casa Lever

Location: Midtown East, 390 Park Ave. (between 53rd St. & 54th St.)

Mimosa Rating: 

3 1/2 mimosas

The scoop: Brunch Gang was invited to check out brunch at Casa Lever on an upcoming Saturday. Thank you, Ansleigh!

Casa Lever has a classy and comfortable feel. There were many cozy booths surrounding the dinning area, with regular tables in the center. Bright colored Andy Warhol pictures added a modern twist to the atmosphere. What else could top off a nice vibe at a restaurant? The live music! We enjoyed the musicians that played while we brunched.


Our waiter was extremely friendly, and he provided us with a great brunch experience. Not only did he check up on us several times to make sure we had everything we needed, he also was readily available to discuss the dishes and offer his thoughts on some of his favorite brunch items. The entire wait staff came across as very professional.

Bottoms up:

Casa Lever has a brunch special that includes a brunch cocktail or freshly squeezed juice, an entrée and dessert for $35 per person.

Mimosa $16 / Freshly squeezed orange juice, prosecco

I enjoyed the fresh squeezed OJ. It definitely made the mimosa taste of better quality than your average mimosa. The champagne was a good pour — not too little and not too much. 


Bellini classico $16 / White peach purée, prosecco

I’ll be honest, $16 for a bellini is pretty steep, but the price is standard for a nice restaurant like Casa Lever. The bellini was pretty good, and I could tell the drink included fresh purée. Sometimes you get juice instead.

Chew on this:

Steak and Eggs $29 / Grilled sirloin steak, parmesan truffle fries, smoked paprika aioli


I knew Casa Lever would do this classic dish exactly the way it was intended. The steak was divine and cooked to perfection. It was a wonderfully juicy cut. I love runny eggs, but scrambled would have been a great sub as well. The truffle French fries (I mean could you ask for anything more?) and the delicious sauce on the side completed the flavor. Get this dish if you are a steak-and-eggs regular or if you have never tried this dish at brunch. 

Omelet Panino $18 / Ciabatta bread, smoked salmon, asparagus, jalapeño, crème fraiche


The omelet was wedged in between two pieces of bread. At first I tried eating it with a fork and knife, but it was too difficult to cut, so I ended up eating it like a sandwich. The description of the omelet sounds a little more exciting than how it actually tasted. I personally thought it was a little on the plain side. Also, the bread was too much, so I ended up moving the bread off to the side.

Gianduia $12 / Milk chocolate and hazelnut crunch, gianduia mousse, hazelnut cream


We lovvved the dessert. The gianduia melted right in our mouths and had a nice crunch. The hazelnut ice cream was amazing. We wanted more after we were done. Order this dessert with a cup of coffee, and you’ll leave Casa Lever with a smile.

The final bite:  Although Casa Lever is on the pricey side, the comfortable atmosphere and professional service make this place a great spot to brunch if you have a Saturday business meeting. Also, Fifth Avenue is pretty close by so it’s not a bad place to brunch prior to going shopping.


Reviewed by: Erica and Victoria


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