Lately, it feels like the weather in New York has no idea what time of year it is. On of the first days of June, we had a 60ish degree day! So when I woke up on Saturday morning and was greeted by gorgeous, warm weather, I could not have been happier.
Randolph Beer had recently invited us in to try their brunch, and I thought it was the perfect day to take them up on their offer and then enjoy the beautiful day.
The neighborhood was a bit quirky. When I got off of the Grand Street subway station, I immediately thought I was in the wrong place. After consulting Google Maps and walking a few blocks, I found Randolph Beer and waited for our Baby Bitch, Reily, to arrive.
When I first heard the name Randolph Beer, I automatically assumed it was just another sports bar, but their atmosphere could not have been more different. It had an eccentric and modern gastropub feel, with a lot of interesting accessories. For instance, there was a sconce on the wall made out of a shoe. The space itself was a decent size and could definitely accommodate a larger group for brunch, which is hard to come by in Manhattan.
After Reily got there and we took a few minutes to catch up, it was time to pick our poison. Randolph Beer offers a Bottomless Brunch option: one entree + Brunch Punch, Bloody Marys, Mimosas, or craft beer for $35. Since we’re both Bloody Mary fanatics, we opted for a pitcher of our favorite brunch cocktail to start the meal.
After we placed our drink order, our server brought over some complimentary biscuits. They tasted homemade, but were a little dry, which easily could have been fixed had we been brought some sort of jam or butter.
When our drinks arrived, we were pleasantly surprised with the presentation. The Bloody Mary was served in a tall, mason jar-esque pitcher with large, square ice cubes and your typical garnishes. I like a Bloody where you can see the spices in the drink, and you definitely could with this one. This Bloody wasn’t too spicy, but it had enough flavor to elevate the tomato juice with vodka.
Once we had some hair of the dog, we started to get hungry. Being the Southern girl that I am, as soon as I saw shrimp & grits were an option on the menu, I knew I had to get them. I was in awe when the plate was brought out. The grits were topped with garlic-poached shrimp, shishito peppers, and a sunny side-up egg.
I’d never had an egg mixed with grits before, but as my brunch partner said, eggs go with basically everything. The creaminess of the grits and the soft texture of the egg paired together perfectly. The shishito peppers played a trick on my eyes; they looked like oversized scallions, but they definitely tasted like charred peppers, and added just the right amount of spice to the dish. My one complaint was that the shrimp weren’t de-tailed, and I made quite a mess digging into the grits in an attempt to get the tails off of the suckers – I just wanted to eat them!
Reily ordered the pulled pork hash. This was a mixture of herbed potatoes, mixed veggies, bacon, and BBQ sauce, topped with a sunny side-up egg and served with a side of what looked to be ciabatta toast. Not only was the presentation beautiful, but the flavors were spot on as well. The Randolph BBQ sauce was not too spicy and not too sweet. It was the perfect compliment to the pulled pork.
Reily went about putting bites on the toast, which the waiter said he had never seen anyone do before. He commented that most people don’t even touch the toast. Reily thought that was a shame, as the toast was delicious! Everything in the dish was cooked perfectly, especially the potatoes, which can sometimes get a bit mushy in a stew-like hash. She said should would definitely return for more, and reported that her leftovers didn’t even make it until the following day. She ate them that evening.
Once I had eaten my plate clean, we realized our glasses were getting empty. We wanted to try something different, so we opted with the Brunch Punch. Our server described it as a “pink drink” – vodka mixed with strawberries, cucumbers, and a hint of lemon. When I think of any sort of alcoholic punch, I think of a too-sweet mixture that I usually can’t have more than one glass of, but this punch was surprisingly light and refreshing. The cucumbers were a welcome addition, and the strawberries infused a hint of sweetness into the cocktail.
The Bitches Say: Four Champagne flutes. From its unique cocktails, to its delicious brunch fare, Randolph Beer definitely surpassed our expectations. They only had a few brunch no-nos: dry biscuits and tail-on shrimp.
Randolph Beer serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at noon.