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Haswell Green’s Brunch

Situated just outside of Times Square (thank goodness), this brunch, live music, and pre-theater gem opened a year ago. It’s around the corner from King Kong, next to Cher, and across from the Mean Girls. Pretty good company, don’t you think?!

Nestled a few steps west on 52nd Street, Haswell Green’s is a floor to ceiling wood-lined joint where bottomless brunch flows and the wide variety of food options leave you wanting more. Named after the “Father of Greater New York” Andrew Haswell Green (the man responsible for Central Park and more), Haswell Green’s knows what New Yorkers want for brunch. We were excited when they invited us in to sample the menu.

We were seated in the back corner of the bottom floor right next to the stage. There’s an upstairs here too, complete with a full bar. Lighting was dim, but not romantic. White string lights lined sporadic sections of the walls, which gave a nice, cozy feel.

The first items to arrive were the signature cocktails. The cocktail list is the perfect length, with 10 different choices that feature almost every type of spirit.

Yes, that is cotton candy and yes you pour the pink tequila-based passion fruit concoction over the cotton candy to get your “That’s So Fetch” cocktail (named in honor of Mean Girls across the street – of course). The green garden spritz was refreshing with cucumber and mint, however, it wasn’t our favorite. My favorite was the “Curtain Call,” which is gin-based. I am not normally a gin drinker, but this cocktail was fantastic. Maybe it’s the egg whites that give it a great froth? Maybe it’s the fondant on top of the drink that included kissing lips and text that read “Let’s Do This Bitches”? I can’t think of a more appropriate cocktail for us!

Next came the food. We opted for the suggested dishes, as they all sounded so delicious. Once our food arrived we realized that our eyes were likely bigger than our stomachs, as portion size here is no joke.

The smoked brisket hash comes in a cast-iron skillet with a fried egg on top. I was disappointed in the amount of meat in the dish. The potato to meat ratio was off. This dish comes with sourdough toast, but I opted for the gluten-free version which did not come with a substitute for the bread side. Alas, there was more than enough to satisfy my midday hunger. The smoked salmon dish my friend got came on a house-made everything bagel and a full side of fries. This was enough food for two!

Next up came the prosciutto pizza which we made gluten-free. Here at Haswell Green’s, you can modify about 75% of the menu to cater to your gluten-free diet, including the pizza! With just enough sauce, cheese, roasted red peppers, and prosciutto, the pizza left me happy and full. But how can you have brunch and not try the pancakes?! We got the bee pollen pancakes which came topped with cashew-maple syrup and brown sugar butter. I would suggest these as a shared dish, as they are very sweet. Beyond delectable, just very sweet (also not gluten-free).

For the bottomless brunch here, you get a choice of mimosas, bloody Marys, or the “Haswell’s Painkiller”. The unlimited option is $25 for 90 minutes with the order of an entrée. The Haswells painkiller tastes like vacation. It is a rum-based drink that has hints of coconut and pineapple. Essentially it is a piña colada, but served on ice instead of frozen. I don’t know how anyone could drink unlimited amounts of these as it was a bit heavy, but the flavors transported me out of the hot, smelly city into a lounge chair on the beach in the Bahamas. I was so here for it.

All through brunch, the playlist churned out the most amazing tunes that featured Florence + The Machine, Chris Stapleton, Justin Bieber, Jason Mraz, and Mumford & Sons. At about 3 p.m. a solo guitarist came on stage and took over. Everything was just lovely.

The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes.

We had a lovely brunch with an attentive staff, amazing cocktails, and a great vibe, although I was a bit disappointed in the egg dish.

Haswell Green’s serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jackie Daly

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