Calle Ocho

By grace.g.yang ยท March 15, 2010
Under: Brunch,Burgers,Cheap Eats,Mexican,My Life,Things to do in NYC,UWS

On Friday afternoon, Blake invited me to brunch at Calle Ocho by the Museum of Natural History with two other friends. I’d never heard of the place, but Blake said the food was very good (Tex-Mex style) and unlimited sangria for around $15 a person. I was a little skeptical, especially since some places that have unlimited alcohol have really bad food (because you’re usually too drunk to realize that the food sucks). Blake assured me that the food was really good, so even though the weather said it would be pouring all weekend, I signed up. The subways were definitely all messed up over the weekend, but I made it to the 12:30 reservation, soaking wet. We were seated in the main dining room and immediately started digging in on the bread basket:


The bread basket had various types of bread: a fried doughnut filled with a tiny bit of caramel, a chocolate bun, cornbread, and a multi-grain roll. The basket also had strawberry butter done right (unlike the one at Jane Restaurant). While we were starting on the bread basket, the waitress came by to explain the sangria bar: only one glass at a time and as long as you ordered an entree, you were invited to have as much sangria as you wanted. We all decided to order entrees so we could sample the seven different types of sangria:


For brunch, I ordered the Pollo Ranchero: Crispy Corn Tortilla, Refried Black Beans, Chicken Escabeche, Scrambled Eggs, Ranchero Sauce:


The pollo ranchero was my favorite dish out of all of our choices – Blake also liked it the most (he usually orders this dish and suggested I try it). The ranchero sauce reminded me of the salsa they serve at Mexicana Mama (creamy and slightly spicy).

Blake ordered the Burrito Sucio: Chorizo, Scrambled Eggs, Black Beans, Tetilla Cheese, Salsa Verde:


The burrito was a heavy breakfast burrito that was stuffed with scrambled eggs. The innards of the burrito were unevenly distributed, meaning some bites were just tortilla and some were bites of chorizo and black beans. It was a huge burrito, but too heavy to go with all of the alcohol.

Ariel ordered the Cuban Sandwich: Cuban Sandwich with Roasted Pork, Panela Basted Ham & Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Latino Chips:


The Cuban sandwich was my least favorite of the day – it reminded me of a sandwich made at Zabar’s sandwich bar instead of something made from a restaurant. The bread wasn’t toasted enough, the cheese wasn’t melted, and “Latino chips” were French fries. I think I might have set my expectations for a Cuban sandwich too high (I was searching my post about The Spotted Pig’s cubano and found my entry on Perilla, which I said also reminded me of a Zabar’s sandwich!)

Chris, Blake’s cousin, ordered the burger with fries:


And fried green plantains:


Me and Blake at brunch:


And Ariel, Blake, and Chris:


I’m definitely going back to Calle Ocho; it’s fun, very inexpensive, the food was good, and everyone had a really great time! I suggest making a reservation or arriving early; when we arrived, three other girls tried getting a table without a reservation and the maitre’d said the restaurant was completely booked, but they could eat at the bar (first come, first served).

Calle Ocho on Urbanspoon

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Next Post:
Previose Post: