Yes, the complimentary unlimited sangria special during brunch is great, but food-wise, dinner is way better.
Though it took several tries, my friends and I managed to snag a spot for brunch at Calle Ocho. And after about a month and a half of waiting (yes, you actually have to book that far in advance), we finally got to check out what it had to offer for brunch this past weekend.
After our first experience here, we came in with high expectations not only because our previous visit set such high standards but also because I had heard so, so many great things about Calle Ocho's brunch specials. We made reservations for 4 at 2:15 p.m., but due to the MTA being a huge unreliable jerk (what's new), we got there around 2:25 and were crushed to find out that our table had already been given away. So PRO TIP: get there on time, not even a few minutes late. Or they will give up your spot.
But thankfully, there were 4 spots open at the bar, so we opted to sit there instead of waiting for God knows who long for a table. The space was loud, so it was a bit difficult to have a group conversation going, but it still worked out because we were right in front of the ever-famous sangria ;)
After several self-debates about what to order, I decided on the cachapa de salmon because I'm a sucker for salmon. This was an interesting Venezuelan-American fusion dish — it was arepa corn crepes with smoked salmon scramble on the inside and a dollop of sour cream, or "crema nata," as it said on the menu, on top. The crepes were also sitting on some kind of mysterious sauce that wasn't described on the menu ... It tasted like a lemony, egg yolk-base sauce, but it was definitely not as heavy as hollandaise. I never had anything like this, so I totally give them props for originality.
The eggs were soft and plush, the salmon was fresh, and the crepes had a nice sweet flavor, but I gotta say, I kind of expected more. I felt the dish in general was quite bland (I had to adjust with some pepper) and just not as impressive as I thought it would be. The crepes, especially the texture, were also a bit off; they were a bit too thick and cakey, making it difficult to cut through.
Also, I should've brought my reading glasses (I don't actually have reading glasses) because...
Nonetheless, we had a great time. The service was great just like last time, and the sangria was deliciously refreshing. If you're looking to get tipsy early in the day, Calle Ocho is a great place to check out. But for me, I think I'll just stick with coffee and/or juice with my brunches ... talk about being hungover all day @___@