Place: The Ainsworth
Neighborhood: Chelsea, 122 W. 26th St. (between 6th and 7th Ave.)
The scoop: We’ve always known The Ainsworth as a good place to watch games, particularly during football season and when there’s an event at the Garden. When Groupon offered a brunch deal for two people for $33 (one side, two dishes, unlimited drinks), Brunch Gang seized the opportunity. We wish we could say we were happy with the purchase… The Ainsworth is a very large space that holds a lot of people, but for some reason, we were jammed at a six-person table in the corner of the front dining area. It’s a good thing we were only a party of four because our table was so close to our neighbor’s that two more people wouldn’t have fit! There was also a large plant behind one of us which added to the discomfort. There were numerous TVs in the dining areas and at the bar — so many in fact that some weren’t even on. Service at this bar/restaurant was subpar (so much for unlimited drinks). Our server didn’t check on us after we received our food or to ask if we wanted refills on our drinks, and it took awhile for us to get the check.
Bottoms up: Our Groupon deal came with unlimited mimosas and bloody Marys for two hours. Three of us opted for a mimosa, which was average — nothing spectacular, nothing horrible about it. The drink had a lot of fizz, which we assume means it had more champagne than orange juice. The bloody Mary was more like a pint of tomato juice – flavorless and seemed to contain little to no alcohol.
Chew on this:
Truffled goat cheese omelet sandwich $14 / Wild Mushrooms, mesculin greens, tomato and home fries
The server described the dish as basically a breakfast sandwich with an omelet inside. I would say it was more like an oversized hamburger bun with a mini omelet, some interesting sauce and unmelted cheese. I added a patty of our side of turkey sausage to give it more flavor. The brioche bun, as it was described in the menu, was too big to even eat with the miniature omelet. I had to leave most of it on the side. I opted for home fries instead of French fries which were soggy and flavorless. I wouldn’t exactly call the side of greens a salad either, and I didn’t even get a tomato.
Truffled mozzarella cheese omelet sandwich $14 / Wild Mushrooms, mesculin greens, tomato and home fries
The first thing I noticed about my sandwich, which arrived open-faced, was that there was a creamy sauce on it. The menu didn’t indicate this, and had I known, I would have asked for the sandwich without the sauce, which I tried my best to scrape off the omelet. The original dish comes with goat cheese, but since I’m not a fan, I asked for mozzarella instead. The server was nice enough to make the substitution, but I could barely tell. I couldn’t taste the cheese at all. The home fries didn’t have any flavor. I added some pepper, and they still lacked flavor. The side salad was a few pieces of lettuce with a tomato, and the brioche roll was a glorified hamburger bun. I thought the omelet itself was cooked well, however, that couldn’t save the dish, which was disappointing.
Brioche French toast $13 / Brioche dipped in egg scented with Grand Marnier and cinnamon, served with fresh fruit and syrup
I was torn between this and the pancakes. The waitress suggested the French toast so I decided to give this dish a whirl. I liked the thick and soft texture of the French toast, but I was disappointed that there was no flavor other than the syrup. They should just rename this dish bland toast. As I was eating my meal, I couldn’t even think of which ingredients were part of this plain toast. There was no hint of cinnamon and I did not taste the Grand Marnier. The description was all a lie, but luckily the fruit was fresh.
Power omelet $13 / Egg whites, goat cheese, roasted tomato and spinach
This was just not a good omelet. When it first arrived, I noticed that it was on the small side. I took my first bite and I all could taste was salt. There was a ton of spinach, but way too much considering the size of the omelet and the lack of cheese. The cheese was not melted at all. I know that goat cheese doesn’t melt that well, but when it is cooked in an omelet, it should get at least a little melty, and that just wasn’t the case. I had asked for this dish without tomatoes, and who knows what the “roasted” tomato would have tasted like, considering that both the spinach and goat cheese were cold. It was like they were thrown on the omelet after it was done, and then the omelet was just folded over. It also came with a side of home fries, which were bland and soggy. I do not recommend this dish.
Bacon and turkey sausage / Our picks for sides that came with deal
The photo of the bacon says it all. Honestly, we don’t think we’ve ever been served bacon folded over like that. Our suspicion is that the bacon, which was rubbery, was microwaved and not cooked on the stove. The turkey sausage side came with three small patties. The patties had grill marks and were a little cold.
The final bite: We were not satisfied with our meals, and we all left wanting something more. The Ainsworth has a great sports bar atmosphere, however, just come for the drinks or to watch a game. Eat somewhere else beforehand.
Reviewed by: Brunch Gang