Macondo: Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
This place was actually a recommendation from a Hopkins friend as a backup to Katz’s Deli. Truth be told, it was my fault as I was running the inaugural Rock N’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon earlier that morning. Truth be told, I was in need of a good meal. I was on pace to have a great PR for the half, but my knee blew out with moderate (I felt like it was severe) IT Band Syndrome. However, I limped my way from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side (LES) and met up for what was one fantastic brunch.
Macondo is amazing. Featuring South American flavors, there are definitely things on the menu that caught my eye such as…the arepa. I love arepas. Truth be told, the best arepa that I’ve had was out in San Francisco. Things that were tasted included:
- beet gazpacho
- boñuelos with butter and jam
- polenta and eggs
- steak and eggs
- eggs benedict, smoked salmon on arepa
- very light, clean taste: not like beets at all. There was no tartness like normal gazpacho which is made out of tomato.
- not overly filling
- none, except for those of you all who do not like cold soup.
Boñuelos with butter and jam: Boñuelos are central american and south american donuts essentially. Wiki calls them a snack, but I find them to be precious balls of fried dough that are better than donuts because they taste more savory than sweet.
- fantastic quantity, perfect for sharing
- came out hot and fried
- do not reheat well because they are literally spherical. We tried to pan-fry it the next morning and they burn pretty easily. Maybe if you flash-fried it again in a deep fryer, it may come out more successful.
Polenta with Eggs
- very hearty, good for post-race food. Unfortunately, it was not my dish haha.
- very filling, but not too much in terms of actual meat and protein
- I personally love the fact that it came in an iron skillet (IS): there is a certain kind of flavor that comes from a well-seasoned IS that can’t be found in a normal pan.
- very carb heavy, especially since it came with two pieces of toast as well
Steak and Eggs: I honestly cannot order steak and eggs for brunch. I did however, have no problem tasting my friend’s dish just so I could write about it.
- super hearty, especially considering that it’s served on potatoes as well.
- shareable, mostly because it’s so hearty. This works well if you want to try a lot of dishes at Macondo.
- Not overly seasoned
- too heavy: no vegetables. I don’t count potatoes as a vegetable by the way.
Eggs Benedict on Arepa: my favorite dish by far.
- generous portion of smoked salmon with the dish
- arepa was well done, not falling apart. My friend was actually surprised because he did not know it was an arepa underneath
- eggs were poached well, not overdone
- came with a salad!
I truly loved this place. Thanks to Hugo for the recommendation. It really pays to have a local as a friend, especially when it comes to these places. There are so many restaurants in NYC that it’s almost overwhelming at times to pick a spot to eat. I’d love to eat with him again! In summary:
- beet gazpacho: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- boñuelos with butter and jam: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
- polenta and eggs: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- steak and eggs: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- eggs benedict, smoked salmon on arepa: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
You can find Macondo in the Lower East Side just after Alden street. It definitely gets crowded by noon so I’d try to get there a little bit beforehand. Hugo and Yas had mimosas I believe which appeared to be pretty good. Some time I will try to taste a few drinks, as long as there is someone to make sure I get home okay. Somehow being drunk in the middle of the day is something I felt like I left in my early twenties though. Reservations can be made on Open Table.
157 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002