Saturday, February 21, 2009

Relish & Brooklyn Label: two brunches

Last weekend, Priya & I went to Relish for brunch to kick off my winter break; I'd never been, heard it was good, and we were early enough we could avoid the rush and sit right down. This weekend, to lament the end of winter break, we went to an old standby--Brooklyn Label, right nearby her apartment. At both locations, I ordered corned beef hash and she ordered huevos rancheros, forming a nice bookend for the vacation. (No, we didn't do it on purpose; I was halfway through my hash today when Priya suddenly said, "You ordered that last week...I ordered this last week...!" and I was like, "Oh!").

I'd have to say that the corned beef hash at Relish was far better. Brooklyn Label usually has a vegetarian (beet) red flannel hash, and this corned beef hash was a special; when I heard it, I was hoping it would maybe become permanent. Alas, it didn't quite live up to expectations. Firstly, it came drenched in brownish hollandaise sauce even though I specifically asked for no hollandaise (the waitress offered to replace it, but we had been waiting a while and I was hungry, so I declined). The hash itself was very salty and buttery (no doubt partially due to the unwanted hollandaise) and was largely ground, mushy corned beef like you'd get from a can (but with better flavor); however, my second bite found an inch-sized cube of corned beef, which is usually a good thing (when it falls apart into shreds); however, this cube was rubbery and solid. I think they didn't stew the corned beef for the hours it requires! Also, the poached egg yolks were not runny; they weren't pale yellow and solid, per se, but they were gelantinous and didn't ooze and mix with the hash like they ought to. Unfortunate. Finally, the price of $14 was a bit high. The Relish hash was $11, and was a little more "deconstructed" than I would make it--essentially it was a mix of pieces of (tender) corned beef, potatoes, and lots of red and green bell peppers (a strange addition to corned beef hash, and while it's not one I would make myself, it did work):

Brooklyn label hash:

Relish hash:

Priya's huevos rancheros were nice, but came drizzled all over with runny sour cream (which would have made me send them back instantly; either mention that on the menu or put it on the damn side). With the recent revamp, they had replaced the flour tortilla with a crispy corn tortilla, which was an excellent change; unfortunately, they'd also jacked the price up to $14, which is kind of abominable for huevos rancheros. The Relish huevos rancheros were $10.

Brooklyn Label huevos:

Relish huevos:

Note: the Relish pix were taken with Priya's camera, so they look better. It's only coincidental that they also were better.

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