I want to preface this entire post by saying that I don’t look at my blog as a giant Yelp review, but sometimes a review needs to be given. This is one of those times.
I’m writing this at the request of my girlfriends who were subjected to the Spice Girls themed brunch that was hosted at 5th & Mad this Saturday. Ladies, what would your reaction be if you were told that for $35, you could attend a themed Spice Girls brunch with your besties and would get unlimited Prosecco, an entre and dessert? If you’re not saying that you’d be willing to give up a few hours on a Saturday for that, we can’t be friends because you’re a liar and I’m not friends with liars. But I digress.
I was pumped when I came across an article in Time Out NYC about this because tbh, I’ve seen Spice World no less than 63 times and I swear that I missed my calling as a singer in a British girlband. I’d consider myself to be 3 parts Posh, 2 parts Baby and 1 part Sport – thanks for asking! I immediately group texted my girls and two of them got back to me and said they were SO in, because DUH. I also read in the article that we were encouraged to dress up. Thank G-d I didn’t because I would probs have died if I walked into the restaurant on Saturday afternoon and saw what was waiting for us…
A disaster. A disaster is what was waiting for us. 5th and Mad doesn’t open until noon on Saturdays, and our tickets were for the first wave – the brunchers that were to be seated at 12:15. I got there at 12:10 and quickly realized I was the first to arrive of literally anyone who’d be attending this, but whatever. My girlfriends got there and we were seated quickly because like I said, we were the only ones there….
Let me set the scene: There’s a large bar that wraps around the middle of the restaurant, and then booths all along the walls. Every 3rd or 5th stool at the bar had a random balloon tied to it (like the kind you’d see at a regular party, not a fancy kind). There was a DJ booth in the window with a cheap looking pink tablecloth draped over it, and then the booths had equally cheap purple tablecloths on them. There was old Spice Girls footage playing on the TV (with no sound). For reasons I cannot explain, music such as Ciara’s 1,2, Step and a song by Da Goddess were playing over the speakers. The DJ could not for the LIFE of him figure out a consistent volume. It was either seconds from shattering my eardrum, or barely audible. This would change every 45 seconds or – to keep us on our toes, I assume. We were there for 45 minutes before I even heard a single Spice Girls song play. 45 minutes. at a Spice Girls themed brunch. Let that sink in.
The menus were an atrocity of their own. First of all, they were printed off on computer paper and for the food menu, the only relation that there was to Spice Girls was some poorly cropped clip art. It also had zero connection to the Spice Girls- they didn’t even name the dishes after popular songs, which would have been the CLEAR WAY TO GO. The selection was also confusing af. Not only was the only breakfast related food on the menu Chick & Waffles, but the selection also included Penne a la Vodka. Have you ever seen this on a brunch menu? Because I certainly have not. They did have a small drink menu to go in tandem with the food menu. Inexplicably, the drinks were named after songs and were priced at a ridiculous amount – $16 a piece. BUHBYE.
So we were there for about 5 minutes before I had figurative steam coming out of my ears. First of all, it was embarrassing that I had dragged my friends here – luckily for me, they thought this whole thing was funny AF and kept saying that I had to write a blog post about it. So consider this my apology gift to them. Second of all, I couldn’t understand why there was basically no decor, no Spice Girls music playing, and why there was a single random drag queen who came out of nowhere dressed like Scary Spice and accosting the 15 or so attendees who had started to filter in. Any time she would talk, they would turn the music off. It was bizarre. As my friend said, “it’s like their B team is here and phoning it all in.” That’s EXACTLY what it was like. Actually, it almost seemed as though they’d never thrown a brunch before let alone a themed brunch… which I quickly learned from looking at their Yelp reviews is pretty much how anyone who’s been duped into attending one of these disasters has felt. Apparently at the Harry Potter themed one in December, they started playing a game of trivia that included questions from Lord of the Rings. Potter fans were PISSED.
The funniest part about all of this was watching people’s reactions when they first walked in. It was a mix of, “are we in the right place?” (can’t blame them, when there’s hardly any indication of Spice Girls anywhere), and, “should I just eat my $35 and go somewhere else?” (yes, yes you should). People were legit LAUGHING when they saw it all, and then they’d turn around and leave. I’m so happy my friends were there to keep me laughing, because I was so irritated. I’m usually really chill & go with the flow, but I was just so insulted my the lack of effort and poor execution of it all. It was even more infuriating to know that this place had dozens of reviews saying how bad the themed brunches were, and that the restaurant clearly has done NOTHING to improve them. We were there for an hour flat and not a minute more. We spent the next hour sitting in a Starbucks around the corner laughing our asses off and comparing reactions to what we’d just experienced.
My Advice for Themed Brunches
- Check Yelp for reviews of the place before you buy your tickets
- Make sure that you check to see the menu prices of the food – if their prices are way lower than the cost of your ticket, decide if the experience is worth the cost
- Make your reservation for later in the day (I’m hoping that the experience got better as the afternoon went on, but I had zero interest in sticking around to find out).
Have you ever attended a themed brunch or party and had a bad experience? Or maybe you attended a great one and have details to share?! Comment or send me a DM – I’d love to hear about it! xo, AJ