Restaurant Review: Bliss Café

Bliss Café
191 Bedford Avenue
(between 6th Street and 7th Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Vegiboys Rating (2.5/4)

This hip Williamsburg joint is the Brooklyn doppelgänger to Manhattan’s Organic Grill. The fun, comfortable interior has bright colors all around (some local artwork and exposed brick helps add to the atmosphere as well), and a simple, diner-style menu focuses on familiar foods: burritos, wraps, sandwiches, omelets – no major surprises from this kitchen.

The space is small, and the crowd was large when we went for a weekend brunch. We arrived around noon and had a 20 minute wait for a table; hopefuls that arrived after us were given half hour or 40 minute waits. This was partially a logistical problem: a single front-of-house individual handled all hosting, waiting, running, and bussing, which made the turnover far less efficient than it could be (adding another server, or even just a buser/runner to assist would make an immense difference).

That said, our waitress was calm and pleasant under the pressure, and we received very good service once seated. At first, we attempted to order from the main menu, but the waitress quickly corrected our faux pax: only brunch items are available before 4:00 PM on weekends.

We quickly recovered with an on-the-fly order of a spinach soup appetizer, a Bagel Delight sandwich, and breakfast burrito. To drink, we chose the Energy Bee from among their specialty beverages.

The Energy Bee was a delicious blend of apple and orange juices, with honey that melded all of the flavors into a cohesive and revitalizing cup. Unfortunately, upon arrival of the food, our mental equivalence of Bliss with Organic Grill was reinforced: the meal was regrettably bland and unimaginative, not able to match the restaurant’s atmosphere.

The large bowl of spinach soup had a nice thickness from a cheese melted into it, but there wasn’t much flavor – spoonfuls were spicy, but really no other taste popped for us.

My sandwich was nothing more than a combination of the elements: scrambled eggs, cheese, tomato, and tempeh bacon on a bagel. While good and filling, there was no deeper interest to it at all. The tempeh bacon had a smokiness to it, but it could lay no stronger claim to bacon-like properties than that. A side of home fries were vastly underseasoned.

The breakfast burrito also tasted exactly like its components: spinach, potato, egg, and cheese in a wrap; nothing blended into a harmony of flavor. The chili on the side had a little kick to it, but fell flat otherwise.

For everything aside from our drinks, we missed sweetness, saltiness, fragrance – anything to show some sign of imagination. At $20 for each of us, the value simply wasn’t there – Bliss needs to capture the same creativity seen in their dining space and bring it to the menu.

Food (2/4)

Atmosphere & Service

Value (2/4)

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