after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Pancakes

a brunch storm

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t says:   I was flipping through some of my previous photos on my phone, only to find that there were a few dynamite breakfasty items I’ve had recently.  While no one particular visit is entirely substantive for a single post, I decided it might be fun to smoosh together some highlights.  And here we go ….

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Honey’s Sit-n-Eat, March 2014, Brunch.  Those who know me know that I am very plus-minus on Honey’s.  To this day, I just can’t understand why this particular place is worth waiting in line for.  Be that as it may, if you do get in (i.e. on a weekday or something), the service is fast, and the food is often “solid”.  Being a pancake-o-phile, I have to confess that I’ve often been a bit underwhelmed with Honey’s; the pancakes are often a bit too thin, and a bit too rubbery/elastic (I prefer cakey!); thus when I go to Honey’s I often try to find something else to eat.  Well … except this time: the above is the S’mores pancakes that was a special at Honey’s last month.  If you thought that finely ground graham powder, chocolate sauce, and marshmallow would make for a CRAZY good pancake, you would be right!  The toppings definitely made up for the pancake’s ho-humness, so much so that I’d order it again if I saw it on the menu!

 

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Parc, March 2014, Brunch.  The above pancake is the polar opposite to Honey’s loaded kind.  These standard pancakes from Parc’s menu are as good as plain pancakes get nowadays.  Yes, there is a luscious taste of butter and sweet sweet sugar when you bite in, but those flavors are oh-so-comforting.  Combine those with a fluffy-cakey pancake, and you have a stunning example of what a well-done, un-fussy pancake can achieve.  Bravo Parc – way to keep up with this classic!

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Cook & Co, March 2014, Brunch.  So this one’s not fair because the eatery is located outside of NYC, quite far away from PHL.  Served at a place that reminds me a lot of Picnic (the eatery in The Left Bank), the above “Elvis” is amazing, harkening back to my memories of Cochon’s Elvis French Toast.  This version is far more restrained, lacking that bananas-foster-sauce, and instead having that peanut-butter cream layer which adds a nice texture and flavor to go along with the banana, bacon, and perfectly battered/cook French toast.  While it would be challenging to eat any more than one of these at a time (it’s still pretty rich!), it was a fantastic experience I hope to re-live on my next visit to Scarsdale.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

6 April 2014 at 6:57pm

pancake-off: cochon vs. honey’s

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t says:  There are two kinds of brunch spots in Philly … the kind that everyone knows about and waits for religiously every Sat/Sun morning … and the kind that, for some inexplicable reason, go unnoticed.  (Actually, there’s a third kind, too: the expensive kind like at the Four Seasons or Lacroix … but who can afford that regularly?)  For this post, I’ve put adsz fave Cochon vs. everyone-and-their-mother’s-fave Honey’s for Battle Pancake …

Challenger: Cochon's Banana and Chocolate-smothered Pancakes - just as fluffy as it used to be, but now served on a plate so you can behold it's massive height!

Challenger: Cochon’s Banana and Chocolate-smothered Pancakes – just as fluffy as it used to be, but now served on a plate so you can behold it’s massive height!  It features this banana-nut-laden bread (that’s different than before when the banana and walnut were just on top of the pancake) – and I know that it looks burnt (I was about to complain when I first saw it), but when I tried it, it actually added this really addictive toasty flavor and a super-light crunch to the outside – it’s more like a burnt sugar than a burnt bread – very weird.  I’ll dock them the points for the appearance as it looks a bit dark, but I’ll leave the points alone for taste, as the pancakes were truly delicious – I can almost finish the entire plate!

"Champion" (by wait time): custom concoction of banana-chocolate-PB pancakes at Honey's.  Ultimately not as fluffy and loses points for undercookedness in the center of one of the pancakes - likely due to poor distribution of stuffings causing concentration in the center, thus making it more difficult to cook ... sorry guys - i can't take the blame if you're a little sloppy

“Champion” (by wait time): custom concoction of banana-chocolate-PB pancakes at Honey’s. Ultimately not as fluffy and loses points for undercookedness in the center of one of the pancakes – likely due to poor distribution of stuffings causing concentration in the center, thus making it more difficult to cook … sorry guys – i can’t take the blame if you’re a little sloppy.  I ate around the undone area – it was fine, but at +1.50 per topping, the bill racks up so it’s as expensive as Cochon’s.

Winner: definitely Cochon.  And that’s not to say that Honey’s was bad – aside from the uncooked part, it was quite delicious.  But I think the problem is that it’s not remarkable; I could make the same exact pancake at home … actually … I could do it better.  However, Cochon’s fluffy pillow of love is something that I know that I can’t make at home no matter how hard I try (if someone gave me a recipe, I could give it a whirl).  Consequently, I have to give Cochon the nod for better pancakes.  Because of this, I just don’t foresee us waiting in line for Honey’s on the weekends, ever.  Plus, Cochon has other little “perks” of going … like this:

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“Widowmaker” … no – that’s not what it’s called on the menu … but it should be!  This guy probably has ~2500 calories, 2473 of which are from fat … it’s totally crazy (and crazy-delicious!  it’s sr’s favorite!  and i think that v even tackled it once!)

Written by afterdinnersneeze

7 April 2013 at 9:43am

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