I’m aware that hearing about a new all-you-can-drink brunch special makes me way too happy. We all have our own cheap thrills, right? Mine just happen to be primarily concerned with cheap, boozy brunches… Throw in outdoor dining on a happening West Village corner (7th Ave South @ Grove St) and Mercadito Grove moves its way right to the top of my list (or way up there).
The Mercadito Group has several restaurants throughout NYC and the US, but Mercadito Grove is by far my favorite member of the family. With a fairly large outdoor seating area and excellent, inventive Mexican dishes on a very diverse menu, it’s my new warm weather go-to brunch spot. The best example of their creative take on south of the border standards is the Guacamole Granada ($9.50) which is interspersed with juicy pomegranate seeds and topped with queso fresco – I didn’t think it was too hot, though it does boast habanero as an ingredient. If you’re looking for a little more heat, ask them for a side of the habanero hot sauce to use throughout the meal.
To fully capitalize on our $25 of all inclusive brunching time, we decided to jump around the drink menu (note: everyone at the table needs to partake in the special – I don’t make the rules…). We tried all the mimosas (strawberry/pineapple/mango) – they’re the traditional OJ + champagne w/ a puree of the chosen fruit on top – strawberry was by far the best. The white sangria (white wine, brandy, pineapple, elderflower) was excellent, and t’was lovely to have beer in the AYCD options. For entrees, the rancheros are where it’s at: an ooey gooey delicious swamp of eggs and beans piled onto crispy tortillas. Spicy habanero sauce really kicked up the intensity of the somewhat bland Tacos de Camarones (shrimp). The Torta de Carne is a rosemary marinated skirt steak sandwich topped with bean purée, napa cabbage, tomato, jalapeño, avocado, oaxaca cheese – interested? Yep, thought so. Throw in the massive plates of black beans and herbed rice served with warm tortillas and you’ve got a feast of epic proportions.
Hungry yet? Actually, we left QUITE full… and you can believe I’ll be heading back – especially since they take brunch reservations! Also, have to mention that they have All You Cat Eat Tacos (10 varieties), ALL night Sunday/Monday, after 10pm Tues/Weds/Thurs and after 11pm Fri/Sat for only $23! So go on, Speedy Gonzales, get your fiesta started. With these great deals, you’ll be shouting “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!”