Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mumbles: A Neighborhood Fave That Puts A Fun Twist On The Classics!

By: Anne M. Raso

Mumbles is the type of local eatery that makes Manhattan great. They do a little of everything, the food is consistent and the portions are huge. Best of all, the prices are cheap and there are theme nights where you get out-of the ordinary items or you might get your fave menu item for less. Mumbles is such a place. Many years ago (20+) it was up in my ‘hood at 83rd and Second and was a place that was always packed with people from all walks of life, but mostly folks from the neighborhood who spent several nights per week there. Mumbles also offers large, high quality drinks—they have many flavors of margaritas for $11 (or even cheaper during Happy Hour). My dining partner loved her Mango Margarita made with Cuervo Gold tequila, Triple Sec, lemonade and mango juice.
Photo Courtesy of Mumbles NYC

I visited Mumbles on Retro Night,  meaning I just had to have the Better Than Mom's Meat Loaf ($16)! It was a huge portion—two big pieces of meat loaf with lots of fresh mixed veggies including broccoli and carrots. There was also at least a cup’s worth mashed potatoes with a little bit of skin included, topped with delicious wild mushroom gravy.
Better than Mom's Meat Loaf
As an appetizer, I had to try the Wha’d Ya Say Onion Rings ($7), which is done with a very traditional recipe but then tossed with parmesan, lemon and roasted red pepper aioli. (These rings are legendary in the restaurant’s Gramercy-adjacent neighborhood.) They were served with a spicy chipotle mayo, which was the perfect accompaniment and were extra large in size. One portion seemed to have at least a dozen rings, perfect for two diners to share. I also devoured the Spare Rib Sliders ($12), which were comprised of tender slices of pork with just the right amount of homemade barbecue sauce—along with horseradish slaw on a brioche bun. There were interesting topping items put under the three sliders on the dish including pickled onions and jalapenos that could knock your socks clear over to the Upper West Side.
Wha'd Ya Say Onion Rings
I also ordered the homemade Truffled Mushroom Pappardelle ($17) made with forest mushrooms, wild oregano, garlic, light cream, Marsala, Parmesan & white truffle essence. It was as good as any pasta in an upscale Italian eatery. The sauce had the perfect amount of cream; it was not overwhelming everything else in the dish.
Truffled Mushroom Pappardelle
I had to conclude my meal with Zeppoles (six for $6) since I rarely have them outside of a street fair. They were not the typical garden variety. They had a light, cakey consistency and were coated with granulated sugar—not confectioner’s sugar, as is the tradition. They were served fresh and very hot--and were more like doughnut balls than real zeppoles, but they were truly delicious. It even tasted like there was a little lemon zest in the batter. It was served with heated Hershey’s chocolate sauce but I preferred to eat them plain.

I want to emphatically add that the service is extra-attentive at Mumbles and the staff will go out of your way to make you things not on the menu. They really bend over backwards for their customers and seem to know what a lot of the “regulars” preferences are. I highly recommend it, especially for the special deals they have going on all the time—including a $24 steak or lobster dinner special on Monday nights and a $28 three-course prix fixe on Thursday nights which changes every week but offers diners dozens of food options.

179 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 477-6066
Cuisine: American

Mumbles Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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