It’s not just the adorable logo that draws people into Elephant and Castle, but also the excellent food elevates this West Village staple to culinary fame. They are known for their “chronic brunch.” And it lived up to its reputation.
Upon telling my family where I had ventured for Sunday brunch, my mom looked at my dad, laughed and smiled. It was her favorite lunch place when she was living in the city and brought my dad there countless times. It’s wild to see that some things really never change a generation later.
We walked inside and got a seat towards the back near the bright windows at a corner booth table. The coziness of the restaurant makes you want to sit cross-legged and make yourself comfy and at home. I ordered a mimosa, but before the waiter walked away, I asked what was in the “Champagne Carlton.” He responded by saying “fresh raspberries.” Pure happiness took over my face, that was my dream. Yum!
One dish puts Elephant and Castle on a whole new level of brunch excellence. Eggs ‘n Apples Benedict on French Toast with Maple Syrup. You read that right. And oh yeah, you can add bacon. Trust me, add the bacon. This is the dish my friend ordered, as I went for something lighter and took far too many bites.
The balance between salty, heavy and sweet comes together with each and every bite. Breaking the yolk, allowing for the french toast to soak up all the creamy flavors. Then you get the salty bite of bacon, with the sweet apple and maple syrup. And then you just lick up all of the hollandaise sauce. It lacks that overwhelming sweet quality you would fear from this dish. It really is chronic.
I ordered the Canyonland, described as a fresher version of breakfast. It was different then any eggs I have ever indulged in and felt light but absolutely satisfied after.
The dish arrives in a ceramic bowl making it easy for all of the flavors to merge together on the bottom. I broke into the first egg, allowing for the yolk to ooze over the avocado and tomatoes and mix with the little bit of the balsamic. I would cut a piece of the avocado and some of the egg with the balsamic jus and it felt like summer. Then a little bite of unami from the mushroom creating a combination of all the essential flavors needed for the ideal bite to exist. By the time all of the pieces were eaten, at the bottom of the bowl there was a yolky soup flavorful mix. I took the double toasted English muffin that came with the dish and soaked up all of the wonderful juices. It was delicious.
We, of course, ordered a side of hash browns to accompany the brunch overload.
These are the guilty wonderful McDonald’s style hash browns that everyone secretly loves elevated to a whole new level. The grated potatoes were crunchy on the outside, but has the light, buttery potato inside. Taking a piece of the hash browns and mixing it with the bottom of my yolks or the hollandaise sauce of the other dish created the wonderful light, buttery combination.
I left brunch feeling light and fresh, despite the heavy contents of the meal. Especially after my mom’s raves of decades of fabulous lunches, I need to come back to explore other aspects of the menu. If you’re in the West Village look for the cutest logo around and the food inside will not cease to amaze.
Elephant & Castle – 68 Greenwich Avenue – New York, NY
Elephant & Castle
Location: West Village, NY
Type: American (Traditional)
Perfect For: Chronic Brunch, First Dates, Casual Meal
Reservations: Not Accepted
Favorite Dishes: Canyonland, Eggs ‘n Apple Benedict