Greenwich Village | 68 Greenwich Avenue | NYC, NY | Tel 1 (212) 243-1400
Subway 1, 2, 3 (14th Street) | 1 (Christopher Street) | A, B,C, D, E, F (West 4th)
Web Elephant & Castle (the websight also has menus)
Once upon a time I was a young guy living who left a small rural town in New York State and moved to New York City to claim my independence. Back then (in the early 80's) I was poor and made about $145 a week which was about $112 a week take home. Of course, my rent was only $225 a month but I still I had to be careful with my bucks.
For 25 years I often passed Elephant and Castle but never stopped to eat. I wasn't sure what type of food they served. I remember thinking it was a brunch or sandwich place or maybe an Indian inspired restaurant. Years later I always stopped to read the menu and as my income went up, the prices never seemed expensive. Unfortunately I was always on my way to somewhere else or not ready for a meal.
Twenty five years later, after I moved back to NYC from California, I was strolling through The Village and I finally decided to stop at Elephant & Castle for dinner and have been pleased with every visit thereafter. How did I miss this place for 25 years? Elephant & Castle is not the type of place where you find tourists or "fashionistas", but just local people having a real good meal.
The atmosphere at Elephant & Castle is warm and cozy, in the winter it's a nice place to eat on a cold blustery night, in the summer it's a relaxing cafe. The walls are covered with dark wood paneling which shows the patina of time. Tables are simple wood with dark bentwood cafe chairs. The wall near the entrance has shelves each with an elephant figuring or teapot. How sweet.
[time to eat]
The food at Elephant & Castle is good homey American with a flair. Starters at E&C are around $7 and main courses average in the $15 range and include hot dishes, burgers, salads and sandwiches. There is always a list of daily specials, such as tonights special of Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto @ $15.95. On another visit there was a Hazelnut Crusted Salmon with Arugula, Orange and Fennel Salad @ $15.25. That seems like a good deal doesn't it? (I am not a big fan of fish though) There is a dessert list with items in the $6.50 range. Sorry E&C, but I have to say, I've had dessert here a few times but I wasn't impressed. On the positive side the Sumatra coffee they serve is excellent.
E&C doesn't have an extensive wine list but they always offer 1 or 2 good reds and whites for around $6 a glass.
OK, time to order. I usually don't order a starter here but there is a short list of salads, some sauteed shrimps and some other simple items. So what am I going to eat tonight? My favourite dish is the Baked Meatloaf with Nueske Bacon and Tomato Chutney. I never order meatloaf in a restaurant, but at E&C, it's a perfect Friday night treat. The meatloaf is soft and juicy and wrapped in smokey, meaty Nueske Bacon . All this is topped topped a tangy tomato chutney. You didn't think they were going to just throw meatloaf on a plate did you? The meatloaf is served on top mashed potato and sauteed spinach. $14.50
I usually don't like the desserts served here very much but the special tonight is Decadent Chocolate Cake w/Creme Anglais and Chocolate Sauce. Now that sound good doesn't it? Yes it was good... but I wouldn't rave about it. I really enjoyed my cup of Sumatra coffee.
[in my opinion...]
Elephant & Castle is not trendy, not the latest food guru's pick and I haven't spotted Brad Pitt here (yet) but it is a good place to go when you just want to eat and have good food at a good price. Service is decent but not really personal. It's a busy place and the staff has its hands full! Elephant and Castle also serves breakfast, lunch and brunch. So what are you waiting for, 25 years to pass by before you try the meatloaf?
Oddly enough, Elephant & Castle also has a branch in Dublin, Ireland. Note to self, stop by next time I am on vacation in Eire.
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