Place: Cafe Orlin
Neighborhood: East Village, 41 St. Marks Place (between 2nd Ave. & 1st Ave.)
The scoop: I’ve read many positive reviews on Cafe Orlin, including how busy the restaurant gets during weekend brunch. To avoid the long wait during the weekend, my friends and I decided to brunch here on a Monday. When I first walked into the cafe, I was surprised how busy the restaurant was in the first dining area. As I walked toward the back left, there were two other dining areas that had tables available.
I felt very comfortable at the restaurant. The tables were spread a decent distance from each other, the exposed brick made the place cozy, and the restaurant was decorated for Christmas time. The host, waitress and busboy were friendly and on top of their service.
Sparkling raspberry lemonade $3.50
I wanted a flavorful drink, so the combination of the two flavors — raspberry and lemon — sounded good. The waitress told me that the raspberry adds a lot of sweetness to the drink, so I asked her to minimize the amount of raspberry. I enjoyed the lemonade, but it was still on the sweet side, so I can only imagine how sweet the drink is originally.
Chew on this:
Mushroom, shallot and herb omelet $11
My friends and I split all of our dishes evenly so I ended up with the corner of the omelet. I was surprised by the amount of mushrooms that were in the corner. Sometimes when you order omelets all of the good stuff is in the middle, but this was not the case. There was a nice amount of salad and home fries perfect for sharing. The home fries were delicious and bursting with flavor.
Pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon yogurt $10
Although pumpkin season is over, I have been craving all sweets that are pumpkin. With that said, I knew I had to order the pumpkin pancakes. The dish came with three good-sized pancakes that were perfect for three of us to share. The texture was not grainy at all, and my friend said it reminded her of bread pudding. The cinnamon yogurt paired well with the pumpkin taste, and all the pancakes needed was a tiny amount of syrup.
Wood smoked salmon sandwich $13 / With dill mayonnaise on sourdough toast
I thought the salmon sandwich had a slight fishy and salty taste. Marilyn has a higher tolerance for salt, so she didn’t think the sandwich tasted too salty. The dill in the mayonnaise added a good taste to the sandwich. I am not the biggest fan of mayonnaise, so I was happy that there wasn’t too much mayo on the salmon. The fresh greens had a light amount of dressing which tasted fine to me. Geraldine tends to use lots of sauces and dressings on her food, so she requested additional dressing on the side, but she didn’t like the oily taste of it.
The final bite: With good tasting food, decent portion sizes and reasonable prices, Cafe Orlin is a great place to brunch. There are so many dishes available that I want to come back and try more.
Reviewed by: Victoria