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The black and white striped awning at Greenwich Avenue's Elephant & Castle screams hello, but even more inviting are the words "I love brunch" scrawled across their brunch menu and the refreshing lack-of-a-weekend-morning line. Serving American fare with a homey touch and care for aesthetics, Elephant & Castle occupies a seemingly age-old building in the West Village, with a glass-panelled front letting lots of light in on diners, and a few tables with nooks for seats -- a casual, cozy joint to sit down for quiet conversation. The menu featured standard brunch offerings of omelettes, salads, and burgers (including the Elephantburger, a burger topped with curried sour cream, bacon, scallions, cheddar, and tomatoes) alongside a selection of brunch specials. Eggs n' Apple benedict comes atop french toast, Canyonland poached eggs are served with Balsamic jus, fresh tarragon, tomatoes, avocado and wild Mushrooms. Gothamist tried the morning's special, scrambled eggs with cheddar, sausage, spinach, and tomatoes wrapped in a flour tortilla. We also shared a heaping bowl of fresh fruit & frou frou (creamy Greek yogurt) -- plentiful amounts of apple, pear, kiwi, banana strawberries, and topped with toasted macadamia and hazelnuts. Gothamist noted fresher ingredients, but smaller servings -- no heaping sides of hash browns, bacon, or toast -- a quality-over-quantity style often lost at brunch.

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Lunch and dinner offer assorted salads, sandwiches, burgers, and house specialties as variations on American favorites like steak and roast chicken alongside fancied up smoked salmon or sauteed shrimp sandwiches. Dessert, however, is where Elephant & Castle hits the sweet spot, where beyond the hot fudge sundaes and homemade carrot cake, they specialize in crepes: Maison (with strawberry preserves & sour cream), Vienna Woods (hot fudge, hazelnuts, & whipped cream), and the Chesnut Creme Parisiene (with apricot essence and whipped cream), just for a taste.

Elephant & Castle is located at 68 Greenwich Ave (just below 11th St.) and open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and on the weekends for brunch starting at 10 a.m. (212) 243-1400.