By Dane Feldman
Photos by Dane Feldman.
The holidays have just ended, but most people still have one final weekend to spend with family and friends. For that reason, I thought it best to do a brunch review on a Saturday (wild, I know), since most places these days do brunch all weekend long. Besides, at least in New York, people go out for brunch any day of the week.
Crema, located on 17th Street and 6th Avenue, has found its way onto many lists that consider the best and most affordable brunch spots in New York and I can certainly see why.
The restaurant serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. I’ve heard great reviews of the dinner menu, but Crema is most lauded for its approach to brunch. The cuisine is strictly Mexican and Mexican brunch is harder to come by than you’d think.
After practically pulling my hair out trying to decide between the burrito de mole pobano (flour tortilla with shredded chicken, Chihuahua cheese, beans, chipotle potatoes, corn, and mole sauce) and the torrejas (French toast served with citrus flavored maple pecan syrup, fried eggs, and bacon), I actually wound up choosing the Mexican breakfast quesadilla (flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, queso Oaxaca, chopped bacon, grilled onions, Mexican crema, and pico de gallo).
It was delicious and certainly a generous serving—I couldn’t finish it. I’d originally been planning to split that as well as the chilaquiles verdes y rojos con huevos poche (baked tortilla casserole with shredded chicken breast, green and red salsa, Chihuahua cheese, crema, red onions, fresh cilantro, and poached eggs) with my cohort, but she enjoyed her dish so much that the offer to split was rescinded. I did, however, get a taste of the chilaquiles—definitely worth ordering on my own next time.
The food at Crema is great and there’s certainly no argument against that, but its reputation is garnered largely for how it handles the boozy side of brunch. For $24.95, patrons can enjoy coffee or tea, a choice of one of seven entrees, and unlimited mimosas. Right now, Crema offers a similar deal for $34.95 if you’d prefer bloody marys over mimosas and $39.95 if you’d prefer margaritas.
For those who don’t wish to partake in bottomless brunch (who are you?), Crema also offers a wide variety of cocktails, tequilas, beer, and wine.
When I first stepped into Crema without a reservation, I was told we could be seated for 45 minutes to an hour if we didn’t mind. Little did we know, though, that the bottomless mimosa offer is only extended for an hour. Thankfully, even without that knowledge, we gracefully accepted the fairly limited amount of time to dine.
What we didn’t know, however, is the fact that the wait staff is rather lenient. As it turns out, we were welcome to stay as long as we pleased, which was nearly twice as long as we were offered by the time we left.
This isn’t to say, however, that we were largely ignored or forgotten about. The mimosas are refilled so frequently you’d think we were just drinking water. Seriously, the waiters walk around the restaurant carrying water pitchers filled with mimosas. It also helps that the wait staff is as friendly as can possibly be.
All in all, Crema lives up to the hype. You’ll likely not be disappointed.