Let me preface this review by proclaiming –
THAT I AM TOTALLY F**KING DRUNK OFF MY ASS RIGHT NOW!
Wow, am I sh*tfaced and totally rocked from what turned out to be a six and a half hour brunch bender. I don’t remember much of what I ate, and I am still trying to figure out where my pants are, but I had a great Sunday!
Holy Crapola! Did you know that Economy Candy is right across the street? (One of the most amazing old school candy stores in NYC!) This place looks like Willy Wonka threw up! Can you actually get the bedspins while still out on the street? Whoa, candy cigarettes and pop rocks! Maybe not a good idea right now.
But back to Essex. Had a 3:00 reservation and entered into a crazy cramped and loud bar area. Checked in with the hostess and was told it would be a few minutes. Had to wait amongst the LES scenesters and play body bumpers for about 15 minutes or so alongside the crowded bar. I felt bad for those sitting at the tables along it as all of our asses were constantly pushing into their faces and backs. Nothing like a face full of ass with your omelet!
Hostess came by and rescued us from this mass of humanity and led us to the holy grail of seating – a table right in front of the bar on the upstairs level! I was so happy I wanted to jump for joy. The waitress that served our area was absolutely kick ass! She was funny, cool, friendly, and Australian. We joked around with her the whole time we were there. Along the way super strong bloody mary’s and mimosa’s kept magically appearing on our table. I must admit, they are very liberal about the three drinks with brunch here as I lost count after the 6th or 7th glass was poured. Yes, this was power drinking, and I watched the heavy alcohol pours they were putting in each glass. Wonderful! I am going to request a table by her again no doubt! I think I blacked out at one point during the meal.
Oh, we did actually eat. We ordered the Mexican Matzo Brei – scrambled eggs with tortilla crisps, monterey jack, avocado, black beans & pico de gallo. Perfect meal with about 10 bloody mary’s! We also ordered the three eggs poached with fresh fruit & chicken apple sausage and potatoes. Both plates were decently tasty and filling. A few onion rolls were also placed on our table when we sat down. More then enough food to help soak up all the alcohol we consumed.
But there’s more! When we received our bill we were given tickets for two more drinks at the bar. Brunch is cash only and at $23.95 it is a bargain considering all the drinks we had. At this point crowd had dwindled down a bit and we grabbed two seats at the bar and resumed drinking. After a few more our waitress saw us as she walked by and we waved hello. Before we knew it the bartender told us another round was on the house gratis from our waitress! I felt like we were in a dream of an alternate NYC where fairies and alcoholic sugar plums danced happily all around us.
I do have to say we had a great afternoon brunch here. You do get a lot for $23.95. It is very crowded and loud, so reservations are a must. What is great is that brunch is served 11-8 PM so getting there after 3 or 4 also seems like a thinner crowd situation and a more relaxing time to arrive. I know not everyone will have the same experience we had, but be friendly and outgoing with the staff and you never know – drinks might magically appear!
Man, am I still heavily buzzed! The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round. Mmmm…..Ho Ho’s. Yum.
24 thoughts on “Brunch at Essex. Or, how to get sh*tfaced on a NYC afternoon!”
Magic drinks are the best! I love reading about all the fun places you try out. I always took care of my super great customers when i was a waitress in college.
Yes to magic drinks! I have a lot more places to write about here. Keep reading! And we take care of our waitresses too!
You either partied waaaaaay past closing time or have been sitting on the couch munching Hostess Ho-Ho’s for five days, Phil.
Sounds like a awe-freaking-some place to have brunch. Especially since brunch is loosely defined as get-here-when-you-feel-like-rolling-out-of-bed.
Waiters, waitresses, and police officers. Three professions I find it particularly helpful to be kind and funny while engaged in conversation.
‘Course it’s in my nature to be kind to everyone anyway. Unless I miss my guess, it’s in your nature, too. It’s nice when there’s a BONUS!
[I know that police officer wanted to let me go with a warning. He just couldn’t. He’d clocked me at 17 miles over the speed limit. So, we had a good chuckle when he said, “if you want to plead not guilty…”. Me? I said. “I am guilty as hell! Don’t worry about showing up for the court date. I’ll do the deferred adjudication thingie instead.]
I might have had a tad too many cocktails methinks!
Brunch is our excuse to be an alcoholic for 4-5 hours on a weekend. I am just like you when it comes to that. Be nice, be kind, be funny, and treat these people right. Sometimes a bonus does come back your way.
Plus, you gotta remember that these people can do stuff to your food or drink!
If there is a heaven, I think you just described it.
Well, at least on the weekends it is!
I LOVE bender brunches!! Except when it’s 5PM and I’m so tired and hungover that I need to go to bed. LOL Looks like you had a good time and the food was delicious.
Jules of Canines & Couture
We all love a good bender brunch! Yeah, by 5pm your day is over but at least by morning the hangover is gone!
24 dollars doesn’t sound like a bad deal at all considering how much you had to drink 🙂 It sounds like you had a great waitress!
That’s for sure! Considering how much drinks normally cost. She really did hook us up! 🙂
Looks like a great deal and great meal, though after three Bloody Mary’s I might fall asleep at the booth, or off the chair, whichever came first.
Well, isn’t that the point of a boozy brunch? If you’re carried out then you know you did it right! 🙂
Phil, can I hang out with you? 🙂 This place looks like it has great energy, good good, & spot on drink service. Yes! Another place to throw on my “must visit” list.
You might become an alcoholic if you hung out with me! 🙂
Def a place to try for brunch.
I need that! I really need to tie one on some afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, I can get wild and drunk, but I haven’t done it in the afternoon for years and years.
Drunk Sunday afternoons are fun. Almost as fun as drunk Wed nights, Thurs evenings, Friday mornings, and Saturday benders!
You got pissed on $24 – I live in the wrong country. Glad you had an awesome time. And you must be cute if you got free drinks from the waitress!
I love how you all use the word “pissed”!
Yeah, I still know how to turn on the charm when needed! 😉
Phil, I’m hitting you up next time I’m in town and we are gonna do brunch at Essex! Can’t wait 🙂
Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting!
Well, I hope you can handle your booze! It’s all about the bloody mary’s!
LOVE Essex! I’ve had me many the same too-many only to toddle over to Economy Candy and get tripsky’d out on sugar coma nostalgia.
Waking up the next day with piles of Sugar Daddy’s, Mary Jane’s, Halva and malted milk balls in my bed always makes me groan…. why why why????
So you know what I’m talking about! Serious boozy brunch makes you do some unethical and maybe morally wrong things with candy! 🙂
Hope things are going well in the new home!
Phil, I love your reviews. They are SO real and don’t have any of the fluffy crap others fill their reviews with. And you bring a sense of humor that always makes me smile or laugh. Great view and the food looks yummy!
Aw, thanks! I am pleased that you enjoy my writing style. I try to keep it real, and fun, at the same time. 🙂