after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Talula’s Garden crushes brunch

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t says:  We had heard that Talula’s Garden was now offering brunch – naturally, we just had to go.  Oddly enough, it actually took us quite a long time to get there – maybe a bit more than a month?  (That’s odd for Olexy-fans like us.)  Whatever the reason for the delay, we finally went this past weekend – and we were on a mission!  You see, this upcoming weekend, for Mother’s Day 2012, we’re going to do something absolutely stupid – we’re going to have brunch with our parents … in Philadelphia … at a restaurant …  It’s. going. to. be. insane.  It’s Mother’s Day, it’s graduation weekend, and Dad Vails are in town.  Insane, but I guess we’re up for a challenge.  In preparation for the insanity, g and I reasoned that we at least had to do some reconnaissance at the brunch candidates – namely the longtime adsz favorite Cochon and new-kid-on-the-block Talula’s Garden.  So we donned our service uniforms, packed our hi-tech image acquisition apparatus, and force-marched it to Washington Square … (btw – we went to Cochon recently – they’re still ridiculously tasty).

May 2012, Sunday Brunch, Party of 2.  After sitting down, g and I dove into the brunch menu – we were quite hungry from the morning stroll.  And it hit us: the menu oozed pure awesomeness.  My mind was boggled – there were too many dishes to try: blintzes, pancakes, butcher’s breakfast, pastries, cheese, donuts …  I’d say 50-67% of the menu was totally t-worthy.  This conundrum was great news, as all of the preliminary reports featured so few dishes that I feared a lack of selection (which would have stunk for Mother’s Day if there was nothing that mom liked …).

After much consideration, g and I forced ourselves to limit our choices to 3 selections – three that we were pretty sure most people in our party next weekend would choose (Party of 12 baby!).  Here they are:

breakfast pastry trio + lemon curd + butter + berries

Hidden in the menu was the breakfast pastry trio – as it’s not called that at all.  Nevertheless, as soon as we spotted a single item, we knew we had to start with the breakfast pastries.  That item: lemon ginger scone.  While I’ve mentioned them in passing in Talula’s Table posts (although I’m currently failing to find them right now), I think that this blog has failed to completely capture g’s (and my) love for Talula’s Table’s scones, especially the lemon ginger ones.  And if TG’s scones are even 23% as good as TT’s, we would be happy.  How did it stack up?  We’ve decided that it was almost as good as anticipated.  It was a bit cakier/cakeier/more-cake-like than TT’s, which makes for a lighter pastry – but the flavor was spot-on.  There’s pluses and minuses to this, though.  On one hand, there’s a certain richness that TG’s scone lacks, but on the other, you don’t feel completely full after eating just one scone, so it’s definitely not too much of a letdown because we had more food to eat!  And while the muffin and coffee cake (especially with the lemon curd) were also very good (giving Parc’s pastry basket a run for its money), you just can’t beat a lemon-ginger scone, even one operating at 87% of max-deliciosity (you have to try them when they come straight out of the oven at 7am at Talula’s Table in Kennet Square … only then will you understand our obsession).

g’s main = “crab benedict” over fresh English muffin + potatoes

g ordered an egg-based savory breakfast dish … surprised?  Not I.  This one was featured egg, crab, and some kind of ?tomato-based? Hollondaise/Bearnaise-ish sauce and accompanied by those wonderfully-gold brown potatoes … and it totally rocked g’s socks.  It was funny, because although there weren’t massive chunks of crab, that sauce tasted so much like crab it was kind of like what would happen if capo giro made crab-flavored gelato.  Ok, maybe that’s not the best picture to paint, but you get the idea – it had a very vivid crab flavor!  The eggs were perfectly poached with good yolk runniness.  And then there was that English muffin … that English muffin was crazy!  We got word from one of our fave TG staff that these were made in house and required some time to perfect before they released this dish – well let me say it was perfect!  (I’m contemplating swearing off Thomas’s.)

t’s main = wheat pancakes + bruleed bananas + pecans

What you see before you is my main.  The wheat pancakes pictured above were oh-so-fluffy – coming within a hair of the reigning pancake champ at Cochon in terms of thickness,  but still pretty impressive!  The bananas (with accompanying sauce like a bananas foster) and pecans were fantastic (although perhaps obvious) accompaniments, and reminded me a little of the bananas that Cochon used to put on their Elvis French toast (back when they used to offer the Elvis French toast).  Actually, I loved the Elvis-themed toppings so much back then that I frequently asked them to put them on top of their super-wicked pancakes.  But alas, they Elvis no more.  Ok – back to TG’s pancakes: while “wheat” is normally not a desirable flavor for me (just ask g about my thoughts on wheat bread), it actually added a little bit of a savory pinch in the background of all the sweet on the plate – I liked it!  I think overall, the dish needed some salt – maybe a piece of bacon or something, which I guess I should have ordered, myself.  Be that as it may, in light of Cochon’s lack of gussied-up pancakes (they only do French toast dressed with sausage gravy on their menu right now – pancakes are a “side dish”, and while they’re still fan-frickin-tastic, they lack to bananas and bacon ice cream of old …), it seems like there’s a new pancake champion in town … Talula’s Garden!  Woop woop!  Raise the roof!  And other such cool exclamations!

And then we were full …

g and I were bummed – there was still so much food our mouths wanted to taste, but our stomachs had had enough!  We decided that TG was the way to go for Mother’s Day brunch – not to say that Cochon would have been worse, but there really is something special about their brunch.  While it’s not as heavy as Cochon (which g and I like – we were full, but we didn’t feel disgusting), it’s also not as inexpensive as Cochon, so I don’t know how often we can afford to go.  I think Cochon will remain our usual adsz Sunday brunch pick, with TG winning “special occasion Sunday brunch”.  So great job TG!  We look forward to seeing you this weekend.  I hope you guys are ready for the crazy that is Mother’s Day.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

10 May 2012 at 9:01am

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