>> Tuesday, February 9, 2010
NETWORK CAFE HAS CLOSED.Brunch Report
NETWORK CAFE & LOUNGE
108-02 72nd Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Forest Hills, NY 11375
When I wrote about Network last Spring, I placed it squarely in the mediocre-but-there's-hope category of FH cuisine., but that was before brunch there. Now... who knows...
As many of you are all too painfully aware, getting someone visit you from another borough can be difficult. So I considered myself lucky that FF agreed to shoot on over. I am also lucky that she has a good sense of humor.
We entered Network a somewhere between 12 and 1230. It was dark and deserted. "Are you open?" I asked. Confirmation followed. I grabbed a seat in the corner to get a good camera angle while FF headed downstairs for the bathroom. Her return was prophetic. "How married to getting brunch here are you?" Pretty married. Why? "It's gross downstairs. It smells like sewage, among other bouquets." Luckily for us, up here we can only smell their overpowering use of heavy-duty floor cleaner. "Great. I'm not ordering the fish."
Service was extremely slow. It took so long to get us coffee that I can only guess that we were the first customers of the day and that they had yet to make any. "It's pretty clear that this place hasn't seen capital investment in a decade." FF noted. "I mean, the mirrors behind you are duct taped to the wall. No one's here. How can they possibly afford to stay in business?" Yeah. The shabby-chic look only works if there's some chic to it. I tried defending it, but I could only delude myself for so long. "You've been seduced by the big, red French windows." I'll admit it. They are kinda nice.
So it's grungy and smelly downstairs and dark, dank and broken upstairs. So that's the set-up; let's get to the follow-through. I ordered the Challah French Toast. I don't know what they think challah is, but this wasn't challah. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was the same type of bread they put on the table when we sat down. Shock of shocks, it was awful. FF requested the Eggs Benedict. "And how would you like your eggs?" she was asked. We looked at each other quizzically. How many answers are there to this question? "Benedicted. Benedict the shit outta them" was just about to escape my lips when FF said "Poached? Like it says on the menu?" Ah, the menu. Here's the quote from the it: "Classic two poached eggs served over Canadian bacon with Hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin with herb roasted potatoes". Now here's the what was placed in front of her. Take a peek and meet me below the pic.
Okay, so let's start at the beginning. Two poached eggs. So far so good. Served over Canadian bacon. No, she got regular bacon. Okay, no biggie. Personally, I like regular bacon more anyway. But the bacon was cold. So how long was it sitting around waiting for someone to order it? With Hollandaise sauce. Again, no. Hollandaise sauce is egg yolk, lemon juice, and a whole lot o' butter. It's practically florescent. This was some basil pesto concoction. On a toasted English muffin. Another no. The same bread that they confused with Challah was also, apparently, confused with an English muffin. This is the bread of all trades, master of none. With herb roasted potatoes. Uh, French fries. One outta five. ONE. Did they even read their own menu? I mean, the ingredients are literally written right there.
Both meals came with a small salad which, to Network's credit, wasn't bad.
Our two meals cost $37 with tax and tip. We left having not eaten most of our meals and were thinking about going around the corner for something else, but our appetite was gone and we got coffee at Starbucks instead.