Place: Ditch Plains
Neighborhood: Upper West Side, 100 W. 82nd St. (at Columbus Ave.)
The scoop: After running a four-mile race in Central Park, we went to Ditch Plains for brunch. The restaurant opens at 9 a.m., which worked out perfectly. It is located right near the Museum of Natural History.
When we were approaching Ditch Plains, I immediately noticed a few strollers parked out front. I had heard this restaurant is pretty much kid central during afternoon brunches. However, there was hardly a soul in the restaurant, since it wasn’t prime-time brunch hour yet. I noticed how different this location is compared to the West Village location. It has ample amount of seating for both small and large groups – I don’t think reservations were really necessary. The decor has a laid-back surf bar vibe, with surf-themed pictures and paintings of waves on the walls and a great looking vintage bar area.
The server was super friendly and pretty attentive. I know she only had a few tables to cover, but she could have very well ignored us since we were a large group.
Although black coffee will set you back more than it will at Starbucks, you get unlimited free refills, which isn’t the case for a lot of brunch spots. The coffee’s taste was average.
Chew on this:
Pancakes $12 / With blueberries (additional $1)
A stack of pancakes arrived with blueberries baked inside. Loved that! Although there was nothing overly special about this dish, you often don’t find blueberries mixed into the batter; the pancakes are usually topped with the fruit. Each pancake was cooked to just the right amount. It was a simple yet satisfying start to Rebecca’s day and just what she was looking for.
Breakfast tacos $13 / Eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese, pickled onion and salsa
Three of us ordered this dish, and sadly, it was a total disappointment. Once Stu said the tacos look like something look just like McDonald’s, I couldn’t stop thinking that he was totally right. There was very little meat or eggs inside, and the toppings adding nothing for flavor. The flour tortilla was also a little unfitting. I am used to bite-size tacos with a corn tortilla. Also, guacamole was an extra charge.
Red Velvet Pancakes $13
How could you resist a red velvet pancake?! It is definitely a must for dessert lovers. We got the dish to share as a table, which I totally advise doing. It’s a little much for one person. There were three layers of cakes, plus a decadent amount of cream cheese frosting to spread across each bite. Syrup was served on the side.
Ditch Plain Lobster Roll $28 / With sweet potato chips
I can never understand why lobster rolls are so pricey but Ditch Plains is well known for their lobster roll, so Jerry had to try it. The sandwich was well presented, lying on a large bed of sweet potato chips. The oversized bun was stuffed with lobster that tasted delicious. There wasn’t too much mayo mixed with the lobster. I would say this roll is worth the splurge. Also, there was enough for everyone to get a taste.
The final bite: Although all left stuffed, everything, with the exception the lobster roll, was just OK. I don’t recommend going out of your way to stop here. If you find yourself needing to have brunch early or are brunching with children, stick to the lobster roll or even the red velvet pancakes to indulge. Otherwise, wait a few hours until Calle Ocho down the street opens!
Reviewed by: Erica