In my never-ending Sunday brunch tasting journey, I went to Que Pasa with a large group of people and they all chimed in. Here's the story.
Sunday brunches are part of a lot of people's social calendars and in Aruba, they are a big deal! Now more than ever you'll see people celebrating their birthdays and many other things like mother's or father's day. Indeed, an indulgent outing where you all-you-can-eat and "bottomless" usually is a part of the title... so that means you gotta go prepared, maybe bring with you an anti-acid if things get out of hand.
Last Sunday, I went to Que Pasa where I joined a large group of friends to celebrate a birthday. To have some context, Que Pasa has been present since 1992 and was always an interesting place to go and look at. I think they had been under different tenures since it was founded and I remember when they identified as a gallery as well. They are part of the hospitality group Aruba Wine & Dine, which manages a large portion of the restaurants and bars on the island... being Moomba, Salt & Pepper, and Sopranos some of the notorious ones. It is located downtown, really close to the Zoutman Fort and the City Hall in a Yellow building that if you ask me is part of the landscape of Wilhelminastraat since I can remember.
I do recommend you to walk around a little and check the fun decor. Tinted glass, murals, paintings, and even a stuffed tiger!
So ok, let's talk about brunch.
From 11 am to 3 pm and for the price of $32, you can enjoy an à la carte menu of 22 dishes. Add $12 and you'll get yourself bottomless mimosas. Seems like quite the bargain considering that in other restaurants or hotels the price is at least $59. Don't forget to tip!
The menu you could say has a variety of crowd pleasers. From the breakfast items like waffles to sushi rolls. I appreciate restaurants still keeping sweet items on the menus for brunch! there is a crowd for that and I am part of it.
So everything starts when you sit down and a basket with fresh croissants arrives at the table.
They were fantastic. Warm and flaky. Homemade jam and a knob of butter. Now coffee is needed. They carry Smith & Dorlas which is the standard brand in restaurants in Aruba. That'll do.
For the mimosas, I certainly don't enjoy them very much. Orange juice is not really my friend but I can have one or two. They are poured directly at the table by the wait staff. Good quality orange juice and base quality sparkling wine. Of course, you can't expect a top-shelf wine for $12 dollars. That's ok though, if you are gonna add orange juice to sparkling wine, it does not worth the splurge.
If you want to upgrade, Cava or Prosecco are available, and they are sold per bottle starting from $38.
So I was told the dishes will be tapas size, which I had no idea about. To be completely honest with you, they should advertise this as a Tapas Brunch. In no way I am trying to make this something negative, it is just a way to have better-managed expectations.
In full transparency, the size of each dish is small, like a bread plate. Things may look bigger in pictures.
I always like to start with a sweet breakfast item. The Belgian waffle was one of my favorite dishes of the day. Crispy and buttery.
The Salmon Egg Benedict was ok, unfortunately, the egg came out overcooked and I could not enjoy the runny yolk that would have made it perfect.
The avocado toast with chorizo was also one of my top picks.
They offer a soup special that I assume varies every weekend. This one is a mushroom soup. It was great. I ordered it after some of my table mates even repeated it! I loved the fact that it was not the typical creamy mushroom soup that always no matter what tastes like straight out of a can.
This is a 2-inch Tuna Tartare. I think they put some pickled carrots on top. It was an overall hit at the table but I personally thought it had too much soy sauce in it which made it taste a little over the salty side.
The Grouper in Smoked paprika sauce was also a favorite of many but not really mine. Pan-fried grouper fillets with creamy Paprika sauce. It was on the salty side for me as well.
I would not recommend the Ceviche. I think it had been sitting for too long because the texture of the fish was off and the passion fruit seeds added a crunch that was not really pleasant.
If you are a bacon lover well, the Flank Steak is for you! that didn't make sense, did it? Here you have bacon-wrapped medallions of flank steak wrapped in bacon served with a broccolini floret and black peppercorn sauce. Some at the table liked it some thought the bacon flavor took over completely.
The fried chicken tender and waffle was one of my favorites! Ultra crispy. Ordered twice because it is literally a bite. Some others at the table loved it too.
The Nigiri Trio was great too. The rice was well seasoned.
At the end of the meal if you order it they will bring this massive tray of cakes and ice cream. Kids raved about it!
Going out to eat with large groups of friends is always tricky! It seemed challenging at times to the Que Pasa staff to serve us all in a timely manner but they made great efforts and kept a smile and an attitude that made our experience very pleasant. Thank you, Luis and Cecilia! You guys rocked that Sunday brunch.
Would I go back?
Absolutely! you just need to manage your expectations. Even though the portions are tapas size you'll have enough time to order as much as you can. The decor is fun and the ambiance is chill, and family-friendly too. Great to hang out with friends, great for a catch-up conversation, celebrations, etc... without a Dj blasting music into your ears. Chill brunches are necessary too! It is the weekend but that doesn't mean everything has to be a full-on party.
And they offer it on Saturday too which I think is brilliant.
Que Pasa offers all kinds of special nights during their night service.
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