Place: BXL Café
Neighborhood: Midtown West, 125 W. 43rd St. (between Avenue of the Americas & Broadway)
The scoop: Among the towering buildings and tourist traps in Times Square sits a modest café with a European vibe. The wooden tables, red walls, and paintings at the BXL Café provide a welcoming atmosphere for a relaxed and comfortable Saturday brunch. Unfortunately, we had to sit at the bar because the back dining room area was completely reserved for a party and the three front tables by the window were taken. Luckily, the bartender was very friendly and helpful in answering my questions on the food and extensive beer selection.
Bottoms up: For $19, the BXL brunch special consists of a food item off the menu with your choice of one prosecco, bellini or mimosa. I skipped the girly drink and decided to order a Leffe Blonde for $7. This beer had a satisfying taste without being heavy and it complimented the food we ate.
Chew on this:
Moules Frites $11 (one lb.) or $20 (two lbs.) / Mussels served with French fries
There are six different choices of sauces to choose from. We ordered the one pound pot of the Marinières and it was more than enough for three of us. The mussels were large and juicy and the mixture of wine and shallots made for a simple yet delicious broth which was perfect for dipping bread. We were all stuffed after all the food we consumed, but Sherwin refused to let these mussels go to waste. The frites tasted flavorless so I drowned them in ketchup.
Oeuf Norvegienne $11 / Poached eggs on an English muffin with salmon and hollandaise sauce
Geraldine and I split this dish. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the potatoes were fresh. Our only complaint was the overly fishy taste of the salmon.
Oeuf Benedicte $11 / Poached eggs on an English muffin with Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce
This dish was pretty much the same as the above, but served with Canadian bacon. This is definitely the better option of the two. The soft and juicy bacon made Geraldine take over Sherwin’s dish.
Gauffres de Bruxelles $8 / Belgian waffles
The waffles were very disappointing, and I was surprised the waiter recommended this dish. I thought ordering waffles was the way to go considering I was at a Belgian café. Boy, was I wrong! I would have settled for a box of frozen store-bought waffles over this cardboard tasting thing. The only fresh part of this dish was the assortment of fruit.
The final bite: I would recommend this café if you are lost in Times Square and don’t want to visit a chain restaurant. If you do go, you must order the mussels!
Reviewed by: Victoria