It’s rare that I ever venture into Manhattan on the weekends, partly because I’m lazy and hate the subway, but also because my neighborhood—Astoria—has everything I need, from cute restaurants to cool bars. But on a recent Sunday, after getting an invitation to try the newly launched brunch at The Spaniard, I hopped on the N train and made the journey to Greenwich Village.
The restaurant, which feels like a cross between an old New York tavern and an Irish pub, was surprisingly empty when my brunch companion Hanna and I arrived, and we were quickly escorted to a large green-leather booth.
Feeling a bit sleepy from my subway ride into the city and a late bedtime the night prior, I started brunch with an iced coffee while Hanna killed two birds with one stone and ordered an Irish coffee. Both drinks were satisfying and kept us busy while we perused the food menu, took in our surroundings. and caught up with one another.
Because we were so busy chatting, it took a while to decide what to eat, but our friendly waitress didn’t seem to mind. Finally, we were able to decide on an appetizer and ordered the avocado toast. The bread was tasty enough to eat on its own, but the addition of olive oil to this basic brunch dish was much appreciated. The avocado was obviously fresh, and the eggs were cooked perfectly. The meal was off to a great start.
Next up, another round of drinks. This time, I opted for an alcoholic beverage and ordered the Troublemaker, a gin drink with sweet vermouth, strawberry, and cucumber. This drink was sweet and refreshing—perfect for brunch on a warm day. Hanna ordered the Azteca, a tequila-based drink made with cucumber, hot sauce, and Worcestershire, which had a slight kick to it that Hanna appreciated. We also thought the cute paper straw that came with my drink was a nice touch.
Moving on to the entrees, Hanna and I decided to split the Smash Burger and huevos ahogados.
The burger, made with Pat LaFrieda beef, American cheese, and a sesame seed bun, was simple but absolutely delicious. It was juicy, cheesy, and flavorful—everything a burger should be. This is probably one of my favorite burgers in all of NYC, and I kind of regret agreeing to split it with Hanna. We also devoured the side of fries that came with it.
Choosing the huevos ahogados, or drowned eggs, was our attempt at something a bit healthier. This dish—tomato salsa, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, sunny side up eggs, and a big piece of bread—was another brunch win. It was on the lighter side compared to the burger, but it definitely didn’t lack in flavor. It was somewhat messy to eat but totally worth it.
The Bitches say: Five Flutes. The Spaniard offers great food and drinks in a charming, relaxed environment. It was completely worth the trip into Manhattan, and I plan to return soon.
The Spaniard serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.