Yes, my sister and I missed our opportunity to cheer wildly when they called our table at Sarabeth's Central Park South (40 Central Park South), but we understood the impulse. It wasn't about surviving a long wait (we waited only about 10 minutes when we were told 25), it was about knowing what was waiting for us, the syrup-smothered, buttery light at the end of the tunnel. And that's definitely worth hootin' and hollerin' on occasion.
I had been to another of the many Sarabeth's locations, Sarabeth's East (1295 Madison Avenue at 92nd St.) with my friend A during the summer, and when my sister came to visit it was flashbacks of the Apple-Cinnamon French Toast that prompted me to return. We arrived at about 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday hoping for brunch, and the relatively short waiting time buoyed our hopes for a delicious midday meal.
We weren't disapopinted. Despite the small waiting area, there was a bar immediately inside the door where patrons could wait and delicately sip mimosas, as well as zebra-covered pieces of furniture that appeared to be a hybrid of couches and restaurant booths. Although the waiting area crowded the first section of the dining room a bit too much for our tastes, we were led back through the narrow, mazelike restaurant to about the midway point, which was satisfactory in that it was far from the crowds. My sister was jostled a few times in her chair by harried waiters (while I rested comfortably on the booth side), but it was a relatively painless seating arrangement.
As you can see below, I ventured away from my comfort zone and declined to order the delicious Apple-Cinnamon French Toast with bananas or the Three-Pepper Home Fried Potatoes, which I'd devoured during my visit to Sarabeth's East. Instead, I opted for a pumpkin waffle sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and raisins and finished with a heaping dollop of sour cream. Honey was delivered on the side, but I had to request maple syrup seperately. I also ordered Pork and Apricot Sausage as a side, which was a bit too pricey for my taste ($7), but I figure you only live once. When the side order is almost as expensive as the meal, however, you begin to wonder what you've gotten yourself into...
My sister requested the Green and White Omelette, which was scrambled and featured cream cheese and scallions. It needed minimal seasoning and was also on par with our extremely pleasant experience. Her choice of side was a muffin, so I can't delve too deeply into that. A muffin is a muffin is a muffin, for the most part. Still, it looks delicious, doesn't it?
Note: I apologize for the quality of these pictures, and the half-eatenness of the meals. My digital camera is awful, and also I was starving when my food arrived. I didn't have the presence of mind to take photographs until a bit later on.
The staff was quick and attentive, although we did feel a bit rushed toward the end. My sister claims her first coffee refill was slow to come, as was the maple syrup I requested, but it is certainly busy and it is certainly a tourist trap (especially considering the location and the huge amounts of press they receive), so all is forgiven.
I think there's no doubt here that the breakfast was absolutely delicious and very filling, and it really was a lot for what we paid (neither my sister or I could finish our meals). The only complaint would be the price of the side dishes, which to me is a bit excessive. Still, it's possible to eat at Sarabeth's on a budget, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great brunch spot. Next time: dinner.
Mmm rating: MMMM out of MMMMM