Beast, on the corner of Vanderbilt and Bergen Streets in Prospect Heights, serves a wide range of tapas and brunch plates with a Spanish flare. As befits the restaurant's bristling name, the first of two dining rooms is dark – almost medieval – and dotted with appropriately colorful creatures: monsters, gargoyles, and demons. The kitchen is open and separates the front from the back room; curious diners can usually observe a small army of toast and burgers on the grill.
Beast's brunch fare is full of refreshing options, with sauteed polenta earning a place on the menu just next to the rum-spiked caramelized apple french toast. "The standard" offers a choice of thick cut bacon, boar or chicken apple sausage with your eggs and greens, the latter of which develops a lovely smoky sweetness when grilled. The slightly-too-oily chorizo hash is saved by a delectable spicy chipotle-spiked hollandaise sauce, perfect soak-up material for the house's sourdough toast.
For an extra $3, the homemade bread basket (two lemon sour cream muffins and a brownie during our trip) is well worth it, especially if your entrees tend towards the savory. Small touches, like a smoky homemade ketchup, properly-dressed mixed greens, and attentive waiter service make a weekend morning here pleasant beyond the plates.
Beast is open for dinner daily and for brunch on weekends, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 638 Bergen Street (at Vanderbilt). 718-399-6855.