Monday, March 22, 2010

Video Review of Hecho en Dumbo: Where the servers’ standard closing line is “Are you still hungry?”

After hearing from @kludt that Hecho en Dumbo was a mob scene on Friday we decided to do brunch bright and early on Sunday morning.  To our delight, the place was empty but for one two-top in the back.  


The meat-packing-district-esque vibe in the new East Village location is very different from the DUMBO version that had the convertible outside area and live music at night.  But some of that cozy coffee shop feel made its way into the city with adorable coffee mugs and plates, even if the décor feels a little contrived.  


Check our our Video Review after the jump.

Our server was incredibly informed about the menu and made thoughtful suggestions plus our private pitcher of water was a nice touch.


We decided on three dishes to share, two of which we learned were unavailable as we were told we’d been handed the wrong menus.  The alternatives we picked - Ensalada De Morada, De Rajas Con Crema and Alambre Con Queso - sounded almost as good.


Our first hint at a turning point came when we learned chips and salsa, in our minds a staple of any Mexican establishment, were unavailable (you must order the guacamole if you want chips). We would have overlooked the chips had the rest of our experience been different.



The red cabbage and carrot salad with pepitos that admittedly boasted a refreshing pop was the first to disappoint us in portion size – and lacked something to nibble on the side. We’d read online that portions were small but incorrectly figured the trade-off was spectacular flavor.


Our next dish arrived in the form of three lonely two-inch tortillas with (literally) a condiment-sized remekin filled with room-temperature pablano and chihuaha sauce on the side.  


When our server repeated to us the same closing line we’d overheard him deliver to the two gentlemen who arrived before us, “Are you still hungry?”  we lied, “No, we’re good” and asked for the check.   Our anticipated brunch failed to deliver what we were craving the most – the warm essence of Mexican culture – both literally and figuratively.


 After leaving $36 on the table (not including cocktails), we walked to our old favorite, Itzocan on East 9th  Street between 1st and A.  Our morning was saved by a newly expanded brunch menu – For half the price, we sat down to a warm meal exploding with the flavor and warmth we love about south-of-the-border cuisine wondering why we would ever stray from the best Mexican in the universe.  You live, you learn. 


Hecho en Dumbo     

354 Bowery @ East 4th St

Go there if…you are looking for a beautiful and clean restroom (it’s clean, lovely and there are two guest chairs for friends)

Great for:  Thirsty moments (all you can drink water on the table), suggesting a trendy, clean place in the East Village

Not so great for: Budget-conscious guests with an appetite; satisfying a craving for flavor

(Photo: Julie Mack, via NYMag)


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