Happy Easter Sunday! Though we usually do not have such a fast turnaround time between the Brunch with Bear outings and writing the posts, our little Easter Bear couldn’t wait to share our Easter brunch at Gabriela’s with you. So for the first time ever, the Brunch with Bear team is brunching and blogging immediately, in honor of the brunch-iest holiday of them all! Along with hot cross buns and egg hunts, Easter Sunday brunch is a fun and delicious way to celebrate the season of rebirth, no matter your religious affiliation.
Located on 93rd and Columbus, Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar is an expansive and welcoming establishment. It’s an easy walk from the 96th Street station on the 1, 2, 3, B, or C trains, which is close enough to Columbia and the American Museum of Natural History to offer a full day of entertainment!
Gabriela’s, as aforementioned, is quite spacious and has indoor and outdoor seating. When we sat down this morning, it was quite sunny and only a little breezy but by the end of the meal, even the covered patio did not shelter us from the blustery gusts of wind that had swirled in. It was easy to get a reservation, even for Easter Sunday, but the tables quickly filled as our meal progressed.
One of the servers situated us at a nice table away from the sidewalk and graced us with a basket of tortilla chips and two different salsas. The red was a more traditional tomato-based salsa while the yellow had a mustard-y flavor; both were mild, but had very smooth textures and were quite addicting! Note: Try not to fill up on chips, because the brunch plates are large.
The brunch menu at Gabriela’s is extensive, and features a number of favorites, such as breakfast tacos, breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros. Their pancake and French toast options are quite original—the pancakes were served all rolled up with fillings, more like crêpes—but of course, these options were sadly not dairy free. I opted for the huevos con carne, or steak and eggs, because to find a steak-and-eggs brunch plate under twenty dollars is amazing in New York City. Brunch at Gabriela’s includes a drink, though it should be noted that they do not serve alcohol before twelve noon on Sundays. I opted for white wine sangria, but they also have red wine sangria, mimosas, a variety of juices, and coffee. Our waiter was very friendly and noted the allergies right away as he was writing down my order, assuring me that the steak and eggs would not be cooked with dairy in any way.
When my plate came, the side dishes were numerous—not only did I receive a small steak and a pile of scrambled eggs, but I also received beans, homemade hash, and avocado. The plate was also served with a corn muffin, but after our server double checked with the kitchen, we learned that the muffin had milk in it. He brought a separate plate to remove the muffin to the side. Usually I prefer that my plate have no allergy items touching anything at all, but the muffin was only on a small bed of lettuce that I was not intending to eat anyway, so I was okay with just moving the muffin.
The portions at Gabriela’s are generous, which is great because brunch is the perfect time of the day to nosh at your leisure. The steak was well-seasoned and easy to cut; I asked for it to be served medium, but I think next time I may go medium well, as the steak was slightly pinker than I prefer. The scrambled eggs were cooked firm, which I appreciated, as I think nothing ruins brunch like runny scrambled egg goo. The side dishes were great, especially the potatoes, which had a lumpy-mashed-potato-like consistency. Mashed potatoes, like stuffing, are actually one of my favorite side dishes, because I can so rarely eat them. These potatoes were a little crispier, having been fried on a griddle, but I still appreciated the soft consistency. The beans were pretty standard refried beans, but they were a great complement to the eggs and avocado. The sangria had bits of apple and was very refreshing as it added to the ambience of the outdoor seating patio.
Gabriela’s outdoor atmosphere made it a little difficult to hear conversation, but was a lovely ambience and I can see myself going back there on a warm summer morning to try some tacos or maybe the huevos rancheros. The main clientele were young families, and the kids seemed to enjoy the endless supply of chips and the opportunity to watch strangers. The brunch menu is well-priced, considering the large portions and the included beverage, but the dinner menu is a little pricier so we will probably keep Gabriela’s as a daytime option.
Whether or not you celebrate Easter, April is a time for rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation and we were delighted to indulge in a relaxing meal at Gabriela’s to prepare us for the new season! We appreciate a holiday that favors eggs, brunch, and bunnies, even if the bunnies are just rolled in colored sanding sugar and packaged as wildly unhealthy snacks for children. As we open yet another bag of candy and enjoy the flowers that are beginning to peek out, we look forward to a renewed zeal for brunching and blogging! Not to mention, making bunny ears in all our photos!