Yerba Buena. Bloody Value, On the Clock.
Welcome to another episode of the Assassin Goes Bloody! This time, the Assassin visits the East Village location of Yerba Buena, a Pan-Latin restaurant that ranks well with the foodie set. But you did not come to the Drunken Tomato for my thoughts on the food, did you? I didn't think so. This particular day, my companion and I came to Yerba Buena for brunch. We entered to a loud environment with Latin and Latin-inspired music melding together with conversation from the brunch crowd, all combining into what was a rather surprisingly inviting cacophony. After a short wait, we were shown to a table and given our menus. As you might expect, Yerba Buena adds a Latin touch to its brunch selections, cocktails included. They offer unlimited cocktails for the first hour of service for $13, meaning that this deal would likely be worth your money if you polish off at least two such cocktails in your first sixty minutes. Choose among their YB Cocktail (aka Mojito), Margarita, Sangria, or, of course, the Bloody Mary. With my being in service to the most Drunken of Tomatoes, I knew what my choice would be.
After another short wait, I was given my gorgeous scarlet liquid. A quick look at the glass revealed what seemed to be a healthy dose of horseradish floating about. Tasting my first sip, I experienced that now familiar first kick found in all horseradish-laden Bloody Marys. Later sips did not possess as sharp of a kick, but rather, a good, if not great, horseradish flavor balanced among the other ingredients. The taste of a rather normal well vodka was slight, but present, reminding the imbiber of exactly what they are dealing with: unlimited cocktails. The tomato juice also seemed a bit watered down, which unfortunately ended up washing out some of the other flavors. Although the balance of the ingredients was good in spite of this watering down, I could not help but note that it did take what could have been a great Bloody down a notch.
Despite a watered down tomato juice and a relatively standard vodka, the good horseradish dash and good attempt at balance along with the hour long unlimited cocktails provide Yerba Buena with a solidCelery Stalks.
Post Script: Please note, while this fine Bloody is not listed on the brunch menu, it is not only offered by Yerba Buena, but also offered as part of the one hour unlimited cocktail deal.
Yerba Buena 23 Avenue A, New York, New York 10009. T: (212) 529-2919.