Friday, November 29, 2013

Uncomplicated but Tasty Brunch at Woodbines

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving last night, and that your bellies are still full (but not in an uncomfortable way).  While many of you may have lots of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers you can't wait to bite into, there's also a lot going on in the neighborhood in terms of brunch.  I wanted to tell you about the simple yet delicious brunch I had with my friend Julie last week in LIC at Woodbines.  While the food was simple, it was classic and definitely makes for a good way to enjoy an afternoon.

Being that Woodbines is a fairly new restaurant on the Vernon Blvd strip, it was pretty darn busy last weekend.  We went in towards the late-ish side of brunch - after 2 p.m. and it was still kickin'.

I remember this space from when it was Lounge 47 and while the layout remains the same, the furnishings have been revamped in a nice way.  The wall accents are lovely, adorning distressed wood paneling on one side and some vintage wallpaper on the other.  It's a little hipster but still feels comfy and lived in, and it seems like folks from the nabe agree, as we saw tons of parties of all types dining there - from families with young children to couples, and good pals like Julie and me.  Everyone feels welcome!

It's pretty easy to make a decision here, as the brunch menu features a modest list of options.  Not that there's not enough to choose from, it's just that the menu is definitive, classic and no frills.  Here's what we ended up with:

Woodbines Omelette - Their signature omelette promised a medley of hearty ingredients such as bacon, peppers, onions and Irish cheddar, with a side of home fries.  I thought the omelette was nicely cooked and contained a generous amount of the aforementioned ingredients.  The cheddar was especially silky and melted nicely into the egg.  Even though there was a little too much of it for my liking, it gave the dish a hint of decadence.

While the home fries were really tasty and crunchy, they looked a little too well done on the outside.  Sure this was a bummer in terms of taking good food porn pics, but the dish didn't lack in the flavor department.

Bloody Mary - I love me a good Bloody Mary and Woodbines' version totally delivered.  Again, a simple rendition of this classic drink, it contained a nice spicy mix of flavors (lots of Worcestershire sauce and horseradish) that gave it a kick with each gulp.  I appreciated the fresh garnish of lemon and lime, along with a nice piece of crunchy celery.  It was quite the stiff drink, and I was glad we took a stroll around the neighborhood after brunch to burn some of it off :)

Portabella Salad - Julie enjoyed a heaping portion of portabella salad, and for someone who adheres to a gluten free diet, it was a good choice.  While there was nothing exceptionally spectacular about this salad, the veggies were fresh, crispy and generally of a good quality.

I'd also like to mention that Woodbines boasts 3 varieties of gluten free beer, one of which Julie tried and spoke well of.  I had a glug of it too and couldn't tell the difference with this Widmer Omission Gluten Free Pale Ale.  

Service and Cost:
Our waiter was nice and accommodated all our high maintenance, gluten free requests.  Although we sometimes felt he could've been a little more attentive, overall we were relaxed and happy to hang out at our table as long as we liked.  Note that if you're looking for a quiet place to escape on a weekend, this won't be it though, as the atmosphere is pretty energetic, but it suited us well.

Costs are moderate and for the aforementioned meal, including an alcoholic beverage, we paid about $24/person with tax and tip.

If you'd like to try Woodbines out this weekend, know that they'll be participating in LIC's Leftovers for Leftovers food event, where you can get a small-plate special of their eats for $8/person.

2.5 Mmmms

Woodbines - 47-10 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101
7  Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue

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