Place: The Barrel
Neighborhood: East Village, 10 Stuyvesant St. (between 11th St & 12th St.)
The scoop: After a couple of bad brunches, Jen was determined to find a good brunch spot. The extensive menu, inexpensive price and complimentary drink offered at The Barrel caught our attention. The decor is true to the name of the restaurant. It looks like the inside of a barrel! Everything was oak, and there were cute wine trees on one of the walls. It was very open and airy, and seems like it would be a great place for a date or solo brunch. We were comfortably seated right outside of the restaurant, and the service was on point. We had three different servers who were quick to serve us and provide us with our food and drinks.
Bottoms up: Each brunch entrée costs $11.95 and includes one complimentary beverage. You can choose from red or white sangria, bloody Mary, bellini, mimosa or orange juice
Red and white sangria
There were a couple of strawberry pieces in each cup. The red sangria did not have a strong taste to it, but it was still enjoyable. The white tasted a little like Hawaiian Punch. It wasn’t overly sweet or sugary, but it had a nice and subtle fruity flavor.
Chew on this:
Galette Breton Complet $11.95 / Buckwheat crepe gruyere cheese, organic eggs and arugula with a choice of smoked bacon, canadian bacon, maple cured smoked ham or prosciutto
The galette caught my eye because it’s not something you see on a typical brunch menu. I decided to try the Canadian bacon galette, and I was happy with my choice. Although the galette was a little on the burnt side, the warm gruyere cheese, egg, thin and tasty bacon and arugula made every bite enjoyable. If this isn’t enough food, my dish also came with home fries, salad and fruit. The salad and fruit were fresh. Not many restaurants provide you with fruit as part of your meal, so I was happy with this treat.
Eggs Benedict $11.95 / Toasted English muffin topped with two poached eggs, Canadian bacon and truffle hollandaise sauce
It had been awhile since I had Eggs Benedict, so I thought I would give The Barrel’s a try. The truffle hollandaise sauce caught my attention, and it certainly did not disappoint. You could see little specks of truffle in the hollandaise sauce. It was not an overpowering truffle flavor and complemented the eggs nicely. The Canadian bacon added a slightly smoky flavor. The English muffin was toasted well and did not get soggy while I was eating the eggs, although I would say it was a little on the small side. The eggs were perfectly poached. I really liked the home fries. Even though they were served with sliced red onions, they did not have a strong onion flavor. The fresh fruit and salad were an awesome addition to the plate. It was refreshing to have half a plate of healthy stuff!
The final bite: If you’re brunching on a budget but still want a quality meal with a cocktail, you should check out The Barrel. With delicious fresh food and yummy drinks, their prix-fixe brunch option is a steal! Jen’s faith in a good brunch has been restored.
Reviewed by: Jen and Victoria