Place: Elephant & Castle
Neighborhood: West Village, 68 Greenwich Ave. (off of 7th Ave. South)
The scoop: We came here for a late brunch around 2 p.m. We waited about five minutes for a table, which was surprising after reading reviews of this popular West Village spot. I assumed we would have a long wait. I recommend keeping your brunch party to fewer than four, as the seating is tight and you’re sitting pretty close to your neighbors. Elephants are a plenty throughout the restaurant, with one main elephant in the front window and then little ceramic ones scattered throughout the restaurant. The decor fits the mood and the atmosphere.
The service could have been quicker, but it was nice to elongate brunch and chat without having been shoved out the door.
Bottoms up: Elephant & Castle is BYOB for dinner, but strangely not for brunch. There are two brunch drink options, as well as coffee, hot chocolate, tea and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Spanish latte $4.75
I’m not quite sure what made this “Spanish,” but regardless, this was a nice start to the afternoon — great tasting and warmly satisfying. It came in a large over-sized mug, reminding me of the days of the Central Perk on “Friends.”
Fresh-brewed Costa Rican coffee $3.50
The coffee was a nice bold Costa Rican coffee, but I think for the price, they might as well step it up and offer a larger mug during brunch.
Chew on this: Each table receives fresh rolls with butter.
Eggs’n apples benedict on French toast $13.50 / With maple syrup
A combination of the best brunch dishes, French toast and eggs benedict, this entrée was extremely satisfying. However, it’s definitely not the dish to order if you are counting calories! Two poached eggs were served on top of the French toast. The hollandaise sauce was drizzled perfectly on the eggs. Between the pieces of French toast were warm, tender pieces of apple. It’s almost as if the French toast was stuffed. The syrup was not overwhelming, and it really was just enough to add a little sweet flavor. I would eat this again in a heartbeat!
Canyonland poached eggs $11.75 / With balsamic jus, fresh tarragon, tomatoes, avocado and wild mushrooms and a toasted English muffin
So there ARE some healthier lighter options at brunch! We were not really sure exactly what to expect, and we were not disappointed. Underneath two beautifully poached eggs was a bed of delicious and fresh vegetables in a light balsamic jus — which is basically balsamic reduction sauce to give it a slight flavor. This dish was a great steal considering the amount of food and the English muffin on the side.
The final bite: Brunch at Elephant & Castle is a must. Their prices fit any budget, and the menu is extensive. I can’t wait to go back!
Reviewed by: Erica