|Arriba Arriba East|
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In a city where people take brunch so seriously that it often becomes an entire day’s activity, any restaurant with a brunch special is up against tough competition. Which is why, when I first wandered into Arriba Arriba around 1pm on a Sunday to find a dark space devoid of any customers, I was worried. Were people avoiding it on purpose, or did they think the restaurant was closed because it was so dark? Either way, I decided to take a risk by staying, and I’m glad I did.Review By: Chelsee Pengal
While the food may not be the most authentic Mexican I’ve ever tasted, it did exactly what I think brunch should do: arrived promptly, filled me up, and came with a free alcoholic beverage. I was especially excited to learn that with the brunch special ($11.95), I didn’t have to choose between fries or salad to accompany my breakfast enchiladas—almost every brunch platter includes both. The enchiladas themselves were filling, with the mole sauce and scrambled eggs creating an interesting flavor combination. The mimosa that came along with my food was standard, but for less than $12 for the meal, I couldn’t complain. With options from omelets to burgers, most will find something to suit their tastes on a weekend afternoon.
I’ve returned to Arriba Arriba a few more times since the first visit, for both brunch and dinner, where the offerings include Chef’s Specials like mole quesadillas ($10.45), Chef’s Favorites, such as burrito de camarones filled with shrimp ($15.95), and create-your-own platters in varying sizes to suit your appetite (from $9.95-13.95). While the food was consistently enjoyable, I can’t say the same about the service. Several times it took ten minutes for the server to realize our glasses were empty when we were one of only two groups of diners, and on another visit, it took my party of 8 an hour to receive our meals. Small details, perhaps, but worth noting.
If you’re in a rush or prefer a sunlit dining room, Arriba Arriba may not be for you, but if you’re looking for satisfying Mexican food with no frills at very reasonable prices (in addition to the brunch specials, the restaurant also offers a lunch special and an early bird one), it deserves a place on your UES rotation.
Neighborhood: East 80s
Entree Price: $10-$20
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