after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Rex 1516 does brunch right!

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t says:  Ah, Sunday morning brunch … who doesn’t love eating brunch on a Sunday morning? Well – as much as people enjoy eating brunch on Sunday, the truth of the matter is that finding a venue is difficult.  You want to go to Honey’s on South?  You have a better chance getting in if you blasted through the wall from the neighboring petshop.  Sabrina’s?  Good luck – they serve enough French toast per platter so that patrons can sit and linger over two meals worth of time.  Or even cute little ‘ol Day by Day?  Beware – they start seating people a good 10 minutes before they’re open.  So what’s a hungry person to do at, let’s say, noon?  Well, with bw, g, and another friend, we decided to let Yelp help our cause … and before we knew it, we were walking down the treacherous ice-laden sidewalks to Rex 1516.

February 2014, Sunday Brunch, Party of 4.  The place is kinda cool – it just sneaks up on ya’ as you’re walking.  They do have one of those ridiculous golden stands outside with a menu, but I would have walked right by it had I not been forced to count down the blocks (each block was another opportunity for me to fall on my butt and look like an idiot).

The atmosphere is dark, by virtue of the exposed brick and dark (but well-worn) wooden floors.  Pretty cool bar scene, probably.  As far as the menu, it was chocked full of what I like to call New-Orleans-to-the-Extreme!  There’s shrimp and grits … with pork belly.  Biscuits and gravy … using “everything bagel biscuits”.  Chicken and waffles … benedict.  I’m ok with New Orleans-to-the-Extreme – I wanted to eat everything.  But, first things first – before I could go for creative dishes, I went with something potentially easy: Bananas Foster French Toast.  Just take some French Toast and toss it in some Bananas Foster, right?  Nope – make the French Toast out of Banana Bread while you’re at it.  The result was DELICIOUS.  Visually, it looked like a large plate of “brown”, so they aren’t going to win any beauty contests with this dish, but it tasted wonderful.  I don’t think I’ve been this happy with a brunch dish since Cochon (R.I.P.).  And my brunchmates seemed as if they enjoyed their selections, and each voiced an opinion that it’s definitely worth coming to again.  Because of this, we went back to Rex 1516 1-2 weeks later … this time with sr and ha!

February 2014, Sunday Brunch, Party of 4.  This time, I took pictures:

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Chicken and waffles benedict: An interesting combination, I will say that that chicken was aggressively seasoned – verging on being too salty.  Fortunately, the chicken was tender underneath its fried shell, and the waffle, egg, and Hollondaise were spot on.  However, the dish only really sang when I added a dash of maple syrup to give me someone other than rich-rich-richness, allowing me to enjoy enjoy the piece that ha gave me.  I’m a fan if they can tone down the salt on the chicken.

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“everything bagel” bidscuits and sausage gravy: I had high hopes for this dish, but I suspect it was because I I was expecting the biscuits to be more bagel-y.  The only similarities it has with an everything bagel is that someone sprinkled some toppings on the biscuit.  Sorry Rex, that’s not an everything bagel, so much as an everything biscuit.  Fortunately, the biscuit, itself, was quite good (good texture on the outside, soft on the inside – everything a biscuit should be !), as was the sausage gravy and poached egg.  All in all, a solid dish that I wound definitely try again, but with the knowledge that it’s a very rich dish: buttery biscuit, the hearty gravy, and runny egg – I almost didn’t finish mine!

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huevos: g went for the huevos this time.  They were solid, but nothing extra-special – she actually preferred her po’ boy the week before.

So I guess the second time around, we came across some dishes that were “good”/”solid”/”well-done”, but not necessarily blow-me-away like the banana bread French toast.  I do like some of the little spins they had to the chicken and waffles and the biscuits and gravy, but they could have been executed a little better; ultimately, I can’t say they were so addictively-good or head-and-shoulders-above options available at other brunch establishments in the city (and everyone knows how prone to hyperbole I am!).  What I can say, however, is that they take reservations, they’re not crowded, and they have what seems to be a very intriguing wine list:

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someone with eclectic tastes picked out this wine … i love it.  While  I haven’t tasted a any of the wines on the list [yet – I’m waiting for a real meal], I have to say that I admire audacity of the following moves: Colombard/Ugni Blanc as well as Picpoul de Penet – I’ve never had either, so I definitely want in on those.  Pinot from Germany – well played – I’ve been hoping that someone would do this.  Pinotage, Carmenere, and Bonarda – I like how you think!  No malbec and no cab – very ballsy!  While I think that a list like this is fun, I guarantee that patrons probably order “Chardonnay” and “Pinot Noir” the most due to recognition; I think they could generate more interest in the other wines by giving three simple flavors that are in the wines – kinda like Tria, but not as over-the-top – something like “cherry, strawberry, licorice”.  In any case, with wines like these, now I know I have to come back.

Next time, Rex … next time …

 

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

23 February 2014 at 11:03pm

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