Masa 14 has only been serving brunch for a couple of months but it has already become known as one of the best deals in the city. Usually when you hear “all you can eat” you get a buffet in which the majority of offerings are far drop the quality from what they would be had they been made to order. Well, that’s not what you are getting at Masa 14. When they say it, they mean unlimited ordering from a large menu of small plates and drinks…which is a deal that is so good, there is no way it can last. For $35 you can eat your heart out while enjoying unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, bellinis and lemon lagers. I highly recommend not planning anything else for your day after this brunch because you will leave so full that you will have energy for nothing more than a long nap.
This is not a menu of traditional brunch-type foods. Eggs are incorporated into a number of the dishes, and there are a few omelets, but overall you’re not going to find standard pancakes and waffles on this menu. Instead you are treated to many of the small plates that have made their dinner menu so popular. They know what they do well and they have decided to stick with it. That’s a choice I can stand by. Especially at that price.
Out of the many dishes that we ordered, these were some of our favorites:
- The Tenderloin Benedict with scallion kimchi pancake, poached egg, green chile and hollandaise was definitely at the top of my list.
- The crunchy shrimp with chipolti aioli, seasame, scallion and masago was so good we couldn’t resist ordering a second round even though we were all stuffed.
- Masa Breakfast Pizza with house bacon, egg yolks, gruyere cheese, pico de gallo and arugula was also very good. A bit messy once you broke into the yoke, but that added a lot to the flavor and texture.
- Wild Mushroom Flatbread with oaxaca cheese, red pepper and avocado. They do flatbreads well so do not overlook them as something to share with the table.
- The Anson Mills Grits with chipotle pepper, oaxaca cheese and green onions were also excellent — the texture and flavor were just right, making this another dish we got seconds of, despite being unbelievably full.
A few others that we enjoyed included:
- Pan Dulce with ancho whipped cream and roasted pineapple syrup
- Grilled Chorizo Sausage with a poached egg and salsa mexicana
- Bacon Fried Rice with kimchi, scallion and a fried egg
- Baha Mi Burger with spiced pork patty, pickled vegetables and citrus aioli
- Crab Wontons with cream cheese, corn, mushroom, shiso, truffle and spicy ponzu
The only dish that was a full disappointment for all of us was the veggie benedict. As soon as it came out we were left wondering how to even begin eating it — the bread portion was huge and the veggies piled on in a way that made it difficult to eat. And then once you got a taste, everything was just too soft and mushy. But that’s okay, because we had so many other great dishes to enjoy instead. And with unlimited ordering, you can quickly make up for a less than perfect dish by ordering something new.
It’s not hard to quickly order $35 worth of food and drinks, but if you really only want one or two dishes, you can order a la carte. However, if someone at your table wants the unlimited deal, the entire table must order it as well. But really, with this kind of menu how could you not want to keep ordering and ordering and ordering…