Brunch Like a Pro

Thursday, June 20, 2013

There's something comforting about brunch. Something that makes me feel like I'm in on a top-secret assignment. A meal that's waited for me and requires me to slow down to fully savor it. This past Sunday I spent a leisurely morning at Central Table, the new concept restaurant that features a market, hearth, grill, wine bar, coffee shop, deli, and sushi bar all in one gorgeous space. A giant chalkboard boasts the names of their local suppliers. While cozy sun-drenched corners feature tufted benches and Tolix chairs. It reminded me a bit of Union Market, without the individual vendor booths. Sitting close to the kitchen gave me a first-hand view of the chefs and the preparation of my meal. Each staff member I encountered answered my questions, providing me with quality service at every turn. With that, my expectations of the food continued to mount. Fortunately, the homemade salami hash with farm scrambled eggs, paired with a side of seasonal berries and house-made yogurt and granola tasted like something I might find at a three star Michelin restaurant, without the price tag. Which means I'll be returning soon to savor some of their lunchtime offerings. Meanwhile, here are a couple tips for making the most of your next brunch outing. 

1. Reservations:  If you live in a big city or plan on going to brunch on a holiday you'll likely want to call ahead and make a reservation. Nothing spells cranky quicker than a long wait and ravenous hunger. 

2. Recommendations: Don't be afraid to ask your server for recommendations. I always like to ask What's your favorite menu item? and What's your most popular brunch dish?

3. Share: The battle between savory and sweet is always a tough one. When in doubt I recommend splitting something with one of your dining companions or, if you are dining solo, order a main dish AND an a la carte item. 

4. Lighten Up: Clearly this doesn't refer to the menu items; brunch is rarely a low calorie option. However, it is about winding down and relaxing. Brunch should be a time to set aside cares and mellow into the meal. Also, for excellent people watching—both inside and out—try snagging a seat by the window. Besides, all that natural light will make your food look that much better. 

All images by me. 


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