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August - Brunch review

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Well, a few weeks ago I had a terrific dinner at August.

Brunch there today will go down as one of the ruder displays of service I've yet to witness in NYC.

We got to August at 11:05, five minutes after they opened. I opened the door and saw the same waiter I had last time (he a bit on the strange side, but nice enough to us last time). I asked if they were seating yet. He groaned, looked at his watch, and looking in a direction other than mine, he said "I guess so". Um. Okay.

We get seated in the back room, which, because of the nice weather, had one of the roof segments open. Great.

My father-in-law, goes to the bathroom to find it clogged. Problem would be fixed later. Sink is on the fritz as well (gets all over both he and my mother-in-law). Whatever, okay.

Our waiter takes a drink order...and he was possibly the rudest person I've dealt with in the last 6 months. No patience, didn't get our order right and upon bringing the coffee/tea...spilled much of the tea on the table neglecting to clean it up. He wouldn't return to the table. Which is either good or bad depending on how you want to look at it.

A new guy, equally "sketchy" in looks and behavior can't seem to wait for us to give us our orders (impatient)...which of course results in him having to come back to the table a few seconds later to find out that yes, my father-in-law wanted his eggs over easy. Ugh.

After some time, the food comes out. And truth be told, my dish (Alsatian eggs) was excellent. The pain perdu with strawberry rhubarb compote was okay - nothing to cheer for. The steak and eggs looked very good but the biggest disaster was the German Pancake my mother-in-law ordered. She detected, being a cook herself, a faint but ever present baking powder taste. As she continued to eat...the flavor of baking powder increased. That was it for that. She spent the rest of the day bowled over the toilet.

I can't believe the uneveness of this place. After my first visit I walked away convinced that August was a winner. Now I don't know if I can recommend it to others.

The service from the moment we arrived until we left (no thank you, no hello, no good morning, no anything) was negative and unwelcoming.

Be warned.

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  1. It seems that the restaurant has a split personality. I tried to go once for bunch and was rudely turned away even though it was a half hour before their official closing time. But, I'm glad I went back for dinner, which was great.

    1. I'm sorry to hear you had such a lousy experience at August. FWIW, I've been to brunch and dinner there maybe 5 times in the last year and every time been pleased with the food and the service. I sure hope your experience is an aberration.

      1. Brunch is the worst meal at most restaurants, unless they are specifically brunch places. In restuarants that put their energy into the evenings, brunch is when the best of the staff is home sleeping, and the food is often afterthoughts or leftovers. If you like August I would say try it again for dinner before passing judgment, and never return for brunch!

        2 Replies
        1. re: kenito799

          If Prune, Deborah, Penelope, Country (Cafe), or any of the other restaurants I've had brunch at this past year can say good morning...or in general, be polite...then so should the 2-star-reviewed August.

          "Because it's brunch" is no excuse. If a restaurant can't provide good service for one or two meals of the week - then they shouldn't offer brunch to begin with.

          "brunch is when the best of the staff is home sleeping"...I'm sure several waitrons on this board would disagree with you.

          1. re: dkstar1

            yes, i was referring to the kitchen staff...most waitrons I know are not thrilled to work brunch though (for obvious reasons) so the ones higher in the pecking order are probably less likely to get stuck with it...

            I agree, if they cant do brunch right they shouldn't offer it!

        2. wow, that is very unfortunate. i'm sorry you had a bad meal. i had the completely opposite experience, for both brunch and dinners, and i love their brunch. the staff was very friendly, even let us move from the garden seating (too loud for us) to the front window seat without any problems. i loved the german pancake and alsatian eggs, and the pain perdu was good. we even got a complimentary dish of pannacotta with fresh blueberries. i always recommend this place for brunch and dinner to friends because i love it. so i really hope yours was just a one-time bad experience. :(