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Manhattan Brunch

The Sanctuary: Worst Brunch Ever


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The Sanctuary: Worst Brunch Ever

jmunnie | May 3, 2001 09:15 AM

I wanted a healthy vegetarian brunch, so I decided to give this place a try.

I entered The Sanctuary (large space, vaguely Ocean-Drive-in-Miami-Beach decor, too-loud Indian music playing on the sound system, boutique area in the back with necklaces and bags). It was completely empty @ 12 on a Sunday, prime weekend brunch time. That should've told me something.

I seated myself at one of the deck-furniture-type tables. The waitress eventually came by. She had the blank, spacey look of someone who's gone too long without protein. She said the special was banana crepes with ginger syrup. Sounds good, I thought. I ordered that plus a mango lassi.

The lassi came. It tasted the exact way it was described in the menu (yogurt, mango puree, honey). Usually lassis have something else added, say, rose water or spices. This had zero flavor. It was also strangely thick and chunky. I kept getting hard, chewy bits with every (difficult) sip. I spit one chunk out -- it was the mango skin. They had blended the skin in with the mango pulp!

The breakfast arrived. I've had crepes before, but none like these. I'm not exaggerating when I say that they resembled burnt lace doilies, recovered from some horrible fire. And in the center of each was a white, wet, raw dollop of flour. It's actually kind of amazing, now that I think of it, crepes that were both burnt and uncooked. It takes a special kind of talent to achieve that. Oh, and the ginger sauce was this cold, gellatinous mystery goo.

As I was picking at my plate, the waitress proceeded to clean the wall and moldings behind me. And I mean, DIRECTLY BEHIND ME. I was seated with my back against the wall, but that didn't slow her down. She just decided to stand over me and scrub away. She even walked around the table to get to the other side of me so she could scrub some more. Why, I wondered, when the rest of the restaurant was empty?

All in all, yuck. I should've walked a few more blocks and hit Angelica's Kitchen.

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