By on May 2, 2011

Place: Rayuela

Neighborhood: Lower East Side (LES), 165 Allen St. New York City (between Rivington & Stanton St.)

Mimosa Rating:

Dining room tables

Sink area in unisex bathroom

The scoop: This restaurant was a complete accident. We had originally intended to go to Macondo; however, the wait was long and they suggested that we take a visit to their sister restaurant around the corner, Rayuela. We walked into Rayuela and to our surprise we were the only patrons, which did not scare us considering the very chic décor and the unlimited sangria bar! From 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, you pay an additional $10 for the drinks special. Obviously, you will be able to tell the brunch gang was very pleased. Sometimes things can get a little blurry with unlimited brunch cocktails, but we can all assure you this is a fantastic place. It is more upscale and would be fab for Mother’s Day, or if you are trying to impress some out-of-town guests. There are two levels to this considerably large restaurant for LES. It was slightly dark inside, but not bad. The background music was  a beachy Latin mix. The bathrooms were one of the coolest things about it! Even if you don’t have to use the bathroom, you should still check out the stalls and sinks.

Watermelon acai and passion fruit

Bottoms up: They offered three choices of amazing combos — guava apricot, watermelon acai, and a passion-fruit type (the name was in Spanish and I can’t recall it exactly). All included fresh fruit and are perfect for the summer. The passion fruit was the heaviest, but not overwhelming. The watermelon acai was the lightest, and the guava apricot was a happy medium. Their deliciousness made it easy to keep them flowing.

Chew on this:

The server was very nice and helpful with the interesting menu.

Eggs Benedict $15 / Crispy quinoa cake layered with Serrano ham and poached eggs, and topped with a basil poblano aioli

This was definitely a great twist to your ordinary eggs benedict. The ham tasted much like prosciutto and the quinoa cakes stayed crispy even with the yoke dripping down, which never happens with English muffins! I scarfed it down pretty quickly.

Center tree, stairs behind leading to second floor

Ecuadorian humita $14 / Soft scrambled eggs with caña de cabra cheese, smoked salmon, and spinach in a truffle-trumpet-piquillo and a yellow corn tamal

When I asked our server about the Ecuadorian humita, he instantly said it was one of their best brunch dishes. Knowing that, I couldn’t pass it up. The soft scrambled eggs were cooked just right. I’m not a big fish fan, but I do like salmon, and this dish’s salmon had a great smoky flavor. At one point, I almost forgot that I was eating salmon! The yellow corn tamal reminded me of a soft, flat corn muffin with a little extra flavor and was served on top of a small bed of spinach. The server’s suggestion did not disappoint.

Brioche French toast $12 / With bananas and peanut butter

Three reasons why I chose this dish: 1) I love French toast, 2) I love bananas, and 3) I loooooove peanut butter.  The French toast was thick and moist with a spread of peanut butter/banana heaven in between. I was not disappointed with the french toast, however, it was on the small side and I think it should have came with a side of bacon to complete the meal.

The final bite: The food and drinks were delish, and the atmosphere was cool. We were able to relax and enjoy a great brunch experience.

Reviewed by: Brunch Gang

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