A Brunch for People of Seriously Good Taste
Having been to Mister East before, I was intrigued when I was invited by Lisa Todaro to experience Central Park’s “Over Easy” Sunday Brunch. A local favorite in Roselle, NJ, Central Park Restaurant & Bar, redefines American cuisine with it’s menu of attractive small plates, creative sushi, and inventive cocktails. With over 50 HD TV’s the bar-lounge atmosphere is a perfect spot for watching a Sunday football game or enjoying a night out with friends. Adjacent to the popular Mister East, the restaurant can accommodate large groups and private parties alike…. and happens to have a killer brunch menu.
The “Over Easy” concept, created by Lisa and owner Demetri Rexinis, is more than just a boozy Sunday brunch experience. From the clever menu, to the atmosphere, I’d say “seriously good” was flirting with seriously great.
Besides the attractive 3 hour “bottomless brunch” option, Over Easy offers an array of confectionery concoctions and fish bowls – like the “Shark Tank”, which is complete with gummy sharks and totally share-able with your partner in crime.
Since I’m not much of a sharer and was still nursing a hangover, I chose my usual hair of the dog – a spicy Bloody Mary. The Over Easy, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” triggered my inner Beyonce as it came to the table garnished with a chili lime salted rim and thick cut slice of bacon – “let me, let me UPGRADE ya”.
Straw in my mouth and mid-B verse in my head, I watched a plate go by and was quickly reminded that it wasn’t just the drinks we were here for. Lisa and Central Park Chef Raymond Sea had bigger, tastier, plans for us. As our stomachs rumbled, plate after plate of delectable brunch fare was brought to the table. And with a quick cheers, it was time to dig in……
Ironically giggling to myself, I rolled up my sleeves and dished out pieces of our first plate – the “Hotmess”.
Served in a perfect puddle of Bourbon syrup, the “Hotmess” is layers of homemade waffles stuffed with pork roll, bacon, swiss and cheddar cheeses. Warm and dusted with powder sugar, I took my first bite. Creamy melted cheese and bacon sandwiched between fresh waffles.. AND taylor ham… I LOVE taylor ham… I mean pork roll… this is literally the perfect combination of savory and sweet.
Since I’m all about those waffles, bout those waffles, no pancakes…. I continued onto my next fork dive – Chicken & Waffles.
A classic Southern favorite with a spirited twist, Over Easy’s Chicken & Waffles are served on a cast iron plate with white whiskey syrup. Hold up.. white.. whiskey.. syrup? Didn’t we just have bourbon syrup too? It was at this point I began thinking of all the things I could dunk in liquor infused sugary goodness. But how do they put the liquor in the syrup?… and does the alcohol burn off or something? But this bacon though……
Hmmmm…. For the bacon lover with a more refined taste, the “Oinkster” is a solid choice. Thick cut pork belly, charred and served with crispy rosemary, this dish is served drizzled with a maple glaze.. And you guessed it… I recommend swirling it around in one of those adult friendly syrups. 😉
Not missing a beat, Over Easy made sure to include the “UNCH” in Brunch, and brought us 2 of their popular lunch favorites – the Yardbird Sliders and Grilled Cheese fries.
The Yardbird Sliders were made up of homestyle buttermilk battered chicken breast, mashed potatoes, house slaw and pickles, delicately arranged on a mini bun. My first thought was, “carbs?…ON a carb?! Interesting… I mean, I TOTALLY put breadcrumbs on my mac and cheese… so like, that’s sort of the same thing right?” as I took another bite and continued talking… “And let’s be real, who doesn’t love mashed potatoes right?” Okay…another bite……. and…. I love this.
and……Super-Carb-a-Frag-a-listic… give me those grilled cheese things 🙂
You guessed it… with the slider down, I began dunking away those deliciously cheesey things they are calling “Grilled Cheese Fries”. I soon realized the “fries” are more like the friendly cousin of the mozzarella stick. Made up of rectangles of grilled cheese and bacon, then buttermilk battered and fried, they are served with a side of roasted tomato sauce. Nom! I am a sucker for the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Two thumbs up.
So…. at this point, I thought it all over. I was sufficiently full, we had tried 5 items on the menu and I was down to the bacon strip in my bloody. Then, like the unexpected plot twist at the end of a movie, out came one final plate.
Was it dessert? Was it breakfast? Who knows… but let’s just say my fairy hangover godmother came dressed as Chef Sea. The final dish, and my personal favorite, the Shake Your “Bon Bon” you could say was icing on the cake… or bon. This mountain of nom-ness is actually a French toast battered cinnabun sliced and stacked with pork roll (taylor ham), and smothered in a honey cinnamon bun icing syrup. Honestly, I thought I was full, but it was so good I would lick the plate if I was deemed appropriate for public.
Now actually stuffed, I threw in the towel, took a deep breath, and began to digest. As a lover of all things creatively edible, boozy, and brunchy, Over Easy was a win-win for me. As I pondered over a glass of champagne, I began to really appreciate the whole experience we had at Central Park. From the attention to detail both in the food and on paper, to the friendly service and cool bar atmosphere, I really admired the whole concept. It was clever, witty, and definitely worthy of a return visit. And with another cheers and now full belly, I said to my friends, “Eat Well, Drink Interesting”.
Try Over Easy Brunch for yourself ~ Sundays 11AM-5PM
Central Park Restaurant & Bar
2401 Wood Avenue, Roselle, NJ 07203