Cafe Pestico – ambitious, global brunch menu

My friend had a brief “mindfuck” over Cafe Pestico‘s menu. There was a brunch item from nearly every corner of the world. The risk in having an ambitious menu is of course high variable costs and no specialization on the chef’s part. Somehow Cafe Pestico managed to be priced well and taste delicious.

I ordered the Shashouka Sandwich ($10) and Derek got the Romeo and Juliet ($6.50). My sandwich had Moroccan tomato paste, hard boiled egg, gruyere cheese, served on sliced brioche bread. The tomato sauce had a very bold flavor, which wasn’t watery like an Italian sauce (as Derek said). It was successfully balanced out by the egg and gruyere. The bread was fresh and toasted well, although buttered more than I’d have liked.

Despite being more than full, I took NYMag’s recommendation and got the Chocolate Bread Pudding ($5). It was chewy, lightly sweetened with dark chocolate, and topped with soft nuts.

I took a bite into it and immediately regretted my decision. Parts of it were refrigerator-cold and other areas were warmed. It was an unpleasant experience.

Instead of just getting water, we both ordered two different lemonades. I didn’t get the free foccacia bread that other reviews led me to expect, but I’ll be back to try the rest of their exciting menu.

Cafe Pestico ★★★★☆
189 E Broadway (between Canal St & Rutgers St) map
New York, NY 10002
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

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