It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and a rare occurrence where most of the New York Bitches could convene all together over brunch. Becca suggested Pardon My French, her neighborhood go-to in Alphabet City, for the affordable bottomless deal and a chic Parisian ambiance. She dines there nearly once a week for dinner, but had yet to experience the brunch.
As an former Alphabet City resident, I’m amazed by the rapid rate that the neighborhood is expanding with adorable boutiques, restaurants, and buzzing bars. Root & Bone’s finger-licking Southern fare and Poco’s rowdy boozy brunch were my local favorites and I was excited to potentially add Pardon My French to the rotation.
I met Becca, Reily, and Ann Louise about twenty minutes late (sorry, ladies) in the expansive backyard of the restaurant. I zipped through the restaurant’s rustic interior, which featured a dining area and separate bar room. The back patio was low key and we were seated amongst foliage and plenty of other patrons.
I thought the gals were politely waiting for me to start the rounds of mimosas, but in reality our server hadn’t stopped by the table in at least fifteen minutes. The terrible service continued throughout the course of our meal; we each had two drinks and would have preferred more if we actually had contact with the wait staff.
Pardon My French offers bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas for $28.95 including an entrée or coffee and tea with an entrée for $18.95, a pretty good deal. The mimosas were perfectly fine, but Becca thought the Bloody Mary was watery. Our biggest qualm was that the bottomless bevvies weren’t refilled fast enough.
One important caveat to make about the service is that Pardon My French authentically staffs the restaurant with native Frenchmen so this laissez-faire attitude towards service is a cultural difference. But still…I wanted another mimosa.
Luckily, our food didn’t take notably long to arrive at our table. I ordered the oeufs Tunisien, baked eggs with spicy tomato sauce, feta cheese, and capers. It was hearty and flavorful and I stole some potatoes from the other Bitches’ plates to dip in the leftover zippy tomato sauce.
Reily embraced her inner Francophile and ordered the classic Croque Madame, a grilled ham and cheese sammy topped with Béchamel sauce and a fried egg. The verdict was this gooey, greasy entrée would be perfect to battle a hangover and she had no problem finishing her plate.
Becca tried the grillé steak and fromage sandwich, which was stacked with grilled strip steak, melted white Cheddar cheese, lettuce, avocado, and tomato. She found the steak juicy and the entire dish on par with the tasty dinner entrees that she regularly samples. The sandwich was so substantial that she saved half for later.
Ann Louise selected the oeufs Bénédicte de Scandinave, Pardon My French’s take on eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. The smoked salmon was fresh and the Hollandaise was flavorful, but the French baguette was really tough to cut or chew through. It was an awkward, clumsy dish to navigate.
As icing on the cake, it took literally 45 minutes and six requests to finally receive our bill. We hoped that we could at least enjoy another round during our wait, but the table was quickly cleared. This was a frustrating end to our decent-enough meal.
The Bitches say: Three Champagne flutes. The food is satisfying, but the service and lackluster bottomless deal brought down the score a few notches.
Pardon My French serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.