168 West 4th Street, NYC
Tio Pepe is located in one of my favorite areas of NYC, the West Village. It specializes in Spain and Mexican cuisine. Not necessarily a fusion concept, but rather served side by side. My husband and I came for our favorite meal of the day, BRUNCH!
Decor and atmosphere: It’s very Spanish medieval (did I just make that up?) which made it dark, cozy and romantic. Since we were there mid-afternoon we couldn’t really appreciate the candelabra chandeliers but I can imagine what a great mood it creates for dinner. I’m also a sucker for outside seating because I’m nosy as hell and it allows for lots of people watching, and although technically they didn’t have outside seating, their front windows open up completely so we were able to still get that feel which I loved. If that’s your thing too, then you will appreciate this option.
Service: Their service left me a little underwhelmed. Our waiter never smiled and there were a couple of times I thought he was going to snap on some of the other patrons and me. Maybe he was having a bad day? Not really an excuse though. They were however really great though at making sure you got your refills so that your 2 hours of unlimited mimosas was maximized. I usually judge a brunch place on their quickness at refills. If I’m paying for a time limited unlimited drink special, then make it worth my while, which they succeeded in. All in all, besides our waiter, the other employees were pretty friendly which made up for our waiters miserable attitude. I actually wish the guy who made our guacamole was our waiter, he was pretty awesome!
Food & Drink: For our entree’s we had the Torillas ($10 – Crisp corn tortillas, smoked ham, refried pinto beans, fried eggs and queso fresco), the Bistec con Huevos ($16 – Grilled sirloin steak with poached eggs and Tío Pepe potatoes), and of course fresh table-side made Guacamole ($12). The Torillas were fairly tasty. The smoked ham was a little cold and lacking some flavor which was really suprising. Nothing mouthwatering but overall a solid dish. The steak was a solid choice. It was cooked well and really tender and delicious. The potatoes were packed with flavor as well. If we re-visit, that will definitely be my choice next time. The guacamole was of course amazing. It’s kind of hard to mess up guacamole though I guess. Either way it was prepared perfectly. However, we asked for a medium spice and I almost choked it was that spicy. (**Disclaimer: I’m a certified punk when it comes to heat so please take that last comment lightly. However, if you are a punk like me go for the mild. Thank me later.)
For the cocktails, the mimosas were not that strong. I would say they were about 85% orange juice 15% champagne. I like my mimosas about the opposite, 85% champagne 15% OJ so that I have a nice afternoon buzz upon leaving (Don’t judge me). The Bloody Mary however was definitely on point! It had a great kick and was pretty tasty. If you are looking for a stronger option, go for the Bloody Mary.
The Deal: We all know the best part of Brunch are the unlimited drinks. Tio Pepe offered 2 hours unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for an additional $10. This is an awesome deal!
All in all if you are looking for a fairly cheap brunch than Tio Pepe should be on your list of options. I really, really want to love this place but the service was kind of a turn off. Hopefully on a return we can report differently. In the meantime though, don’t go in expecting 5 star service and you’ll enjoy your time and your meal.
Peace Loves ✌💜