One thing that NYC is popular for is the all you can drink brunch deals and during our recent visit to the big apple hitting one of those up was on my list of things to do. Of course I didn’t do any research and decided on an impromptu Sunday brunch before hitting up the American Museum of Natural History. Friends we were visiting had heard about Calle Ocho in the Excelsior Hotel (right across from the museum) and they suggested we swing by for brunch on the cold Sunday morning.
Luckily we had made reservations the night before and so we didn’t have to wait in line to get in. We were even able to bring in our double stroller and park it by our table with no nasty looks. One thing you notice on arrival is the family friendly vibe of the place as there were quite a few young kids here for the boozy brunch. Calle Ocho looks after the parents with the bottomless sangrias and the kids with the delicious eats and yes they have high chairs and booths available.
I loved the bright colourful walls and decor of the space. The servers were a bit rushed but it was extremely busy and they were quite friendly. The deal here is that the sangria is complimentary with the purchase of food during the brunch. I love this because no one felt compelled to guzzle their money’s worth, because at the end of the day it was all ‘free’. There’s quite a few sangria options to choose from and there’s no way I was getting through even a quarter of the whites and reds during our two hour visit. Each glass is 20 oz so they’re quite large indeed!
This Upper West Side establishment serves up some fabulous latin fare and if we were locals, this could easily become our go to brunch spot for when friends visit (or when I’m in a boozy mood!). Our group of five adults and two kids sampled quite a few dishes but my favourite was the Gallitos which came with a platter of traditional Costa Rican Soft Tacos, Scrambled Eggs, Chorizo, Calle Ocho Home Fries and plenty of condiments. They said it served two people so the hubs and I got that in the hopes of sharing some with the kids. Well what do you know? That thing could easily serve four and I have a huge appetite!! Great presentation on that dish as well.
Our friend’s Latin Benedict looked pretty fab as well. Poached Eggs, house made pork and duck sausage was served on Arepas with Chipotle Hollandaise.
As we listed to the latin tunes and watched the hustle and bustle of the place (it’s quite a large restaurant) we noticed that there was a line forming for the women’s washroom. This continued for the two hours we were there for and so be warned…use the men’s room in case of an emergency (or send the kid in with the hubs!).
If you’re looking for an all you can drink affair Calle Ocho is definitely worth exploring. Their cocktail list looked pretty good and while not every sangria was to my liking, two of the three I was able to sample were and so there’s no complains from me. Where do you like to boozy brunch at?