Sunday Brunch: The Brass Rail

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Molly Freeman Veronica Chavez Samantha Spoto

The Brass Rail, located on Washington Street in Hoboken, New Jersey, offers bottomless brunch on weekends starting at 11:30am. Brunchers who typically hop across the Hudson River for bottomless options can rejoice in the fact that The Brass Rail offers the same deal for a comparable price.

I’ve now been on three separate occasions, but on my second visit I went alongside BTR staff members Molly Freeman, Samantha Spoto, and Veronica Chavez.

Here’s what we have to say about the brunch experience.

Molly’s Take

Photo by Molly Freeman.

Going into brunch at The Brass Rail, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go for the two-course prix fixe without drinks ($19), but eventually decided on the two-course prix fixe with drinks ($30) (I can’t pass up a good sangria). I was incredibly happy with the sangria, which was the perfect blend of fruity, sweet, and light with plenty of booze.

For my appetizer course, I ordered the traditional Caesar salad, which was adequate but nothing exceptional. Looking back on the menu, I absolutely should have gone for the S’more Donut Holes, which I’m still drooling over. For my main course, I kept with the lunch theme and went for the Grilled Brass Rail Burger, which came with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, smoked mozzarella, and pancetta as well as a side of fries. The burger was absolutely delicious, perfectly cooked, and I would eat it again. In fact, I couldn’t finish it and ended up eating the leftovers later in the day for a snack.

My only small criticism of Brass Rail is that the service was less than stellar when we first arrived. However, this was likely due to the fact that we arrived exactly at opening and were seated at the same time as roughly a dozen other tables. Still, it wasn’t enough to completely sour the experience and I would happily return to The Brass Rail.

Samantha’s Take

Photo by Samantha Spoto.

Of all the meals to eat throughout the day, brunch might be my favorite. I was especially excited to try The Brass Rail’s prix fixe brunch, a 19-dollar deal that consists of an appetizer and entree.

I ordered the Crispy Falafel Bites for an appetizer, a well-portioned dish, which also came with a delicious yogurt and cucumber dip. For my main course, I opted for the Breakfast BLT, a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiched between avocado toast. The egg was perfectly cooked, not too drippy or messy for a dish designed to eat with your hands. Although I didn’t finish the entire sandwich, I made sure to eat every last french fry on my plate, which came as a complimentary side. If I had to choose just one thing to applaud The Brass Rail on, it would be their ability to cook up a flawless fry.

Like Molly, my only complaint about the dining experience would be the slow service. Our party arrived just as brunch began, however it seemed like we were left to wait longer than most tables to place our orders and receive our meals. Despite that, I enjoyed the atmosphere and outdoor patio where we ate and would definitely return to try their other menu items.

Veronica’s Take

Photo by Veronica Chavez.

My brunch at The Brass Rail turned out to be somewhat nontraditional. Due to my vegan diet, most of the egg-centric menu options didn’t appeal to me. Because of this I decided to opt out of the eatery’s prix fixe special and instead ordered three starters a la carte: falafel bites, an arugula salad, and a side of home fries.

When ordering falafels I usually expect the mashed chickpea balls to be fried to a crisp. The falafels at Brass Rail however, were more like croquettes. The entree comes with a yogurt dipping sauce, which I traded in for some lemon wedges. The smooth exterior and filling, and refreshing lemon made for a pleasant change and healthy alternative to the traditional Mediterranean dish.

While the falafels weren’t exactly huge, by the time I finished eating them, I was glad I didn’t end up also ordering an entree. The arugula salad which came with tomatoes, cucumbers, and fried shallots, turned out to be the perfect compliment to my starter. The dish was simple but composed of extremely fresh ingredients and the shallots were a great addition that really amped up the flavor. The home fries were also delicious and to my surprise came accompanied by sauteed onions and slices of sweet, yellow bell pepper.

Although the service at first was not amazing during the restaurant’s busy opening hour, it gradually got better, and I left satisfied with both the food and the experience. I don’t think I’ll return to Brass Rail since my options were very limited, but I definitely recommend the spot for those with no dietary restrictions.

Dane’s Take

Photo by Dane Feldman.

My meal at The Brass Rail was similar to those I dined with. I opted for the prix fixe that included bottomless drinks and immediately ordered a mimosa.

To eat, I had the arugula salad that Veronica ordered, which typically comes with goat cheese vinaigrette. Because of Veronica’s dietary restrictions, she opted for a different dressing, whereas I actually ordered the salad simply because of the goat cheese vinaigrette. It definitely lived up to my expectations (I ordered the same salad the following weekend).

Then, like Samantha, I had the Breakfast BLT. Typically, I don’t order BLTs; I hate lettuce and tomato on my sandwiches, and I have professed my love of breakfast sausage over bacon countless times. That said, The Brass Rail’s BLT stands out. The egg was perfect, as Samantha mentioned, and it came with mesclun mix instead of romaine (yay) served on delicious multigrain bread.

Oh, and Samantha’s right, those fries are insane.

While I have to agree about The Brass Rail’s service (on all three of my visits, it’s been subpar), the food is fantastic (I’ve also had the steak and eggs and I highly recommend it), the prices are great, and the atmosphere is lovely.