I couldn't help myself. I hit this one first and risked it again. This time we got lucky. It's way East 5th (almost to Pleasant Valley). The space has a "hipster-cool" vibe, both in atmosphere and food (who doesn't these days?). However, staff was friendly, almost overly attentive - my six ounce water glass got to half way once - and the space is open without being loud, but we were one of only a few customers. I'll bet this place is deafening at night when it's full, though. Nice outside area with places to lounge, perch and dine.
Before the meal arrived, they brought an fresh baked egg bread and some soft butter with salt and chocolate (?). Surprisingly, it was extremely addictive and the bread was just the right balance of soft/sweet/chewy.
I ordered the French Dip, which was about $13, I believe, and was described as beef short rib, horseradish cream, dill pickle and served with homemade chips, but I substituted the fries. The sandwich was on a more chewy/sourdough "bollo" roll and the meat was sliced like thickly shaved roast beef, so it didn't really feel like short rib and the dill pickle would be more accurately described as a bread and butter pickle. However, the meat was wonderfully seasoned and was perfectly portioned to the roll and I really liked the horseradish cream. The au jus didn't really add any flavor, but helped mix up the bites a bit. Fries were the "at home" version my father used to make on the stovetop and finished in a brown paper bag with plenty of chunky salt. I love that version, but my husband wasn't thrilled - good; left more for me. Fries were served with a not-sweet ketchup and a garlic aioli.
Husband ordered the appetizer beef tongue tacos ($12ish). Arrived deconstructed on a wooden board, which made it a little difficult to assemble/eat. The four dollar-pancake-sized corn tortillas were on the thick/oily side, but fluffy (think fat corn crepe) and freshly made. Meat was sliced and had and excellent char and was melt-tender. Served with a tomatillo sauce that had a good kick without losing the tang, escabeche, creme fraiche, cotija cheese, and cebollitas. I love cebollitas, so big points there. I had a bite and thought they were quite good, even if they were expensive for a gal from EP, as they were absolutely not street tacos. Husband ate every last bite.
Left this new place happy about having gone.
I went today, had the pancakes and one of my companions had the fried chicken. First of all the fried chicken has no skin. It's whole pieces, not some kind of filet, but it's s a cracker/flour shell. That's not in the menu description but it's kinda a big deal if you like fried chicken for the skin. The flavor wasn't bad, lots of herbs in the crust, but the chicken wasn't particularly moist and eating that much crust wasn't great texture wise for me. The pancakes were okay but not great. The creame on the side was a nice touch but I don't think it really added much. At $14 for 3 pancakes and two pieces of porkbelly it was a little higher than it should have been. You are basically paying for the pork belly. An egg or two wouldn't have broken the bank and made it feel a bit more complete and gone well with the pork belly.
Service was adequate but not great. Even though it was half empty we had to ask to get more water, etc.
Overall it was just okay and not worth going back to. On the plus side though there is plenty of parking and the decor is nice. I could see the place being a cool happy hour spot for drinks only.
My second visit after my pleasing first brunch (cheeseburger lardo) was last night for a paid 3 person work dinner. We ordered the fried cheese, brussels, and roasted cauliflower apps along with a mushroom soup starter. The entrees were the quail, the flat iron steak, and my grilled redfish. The steak was served medium to well ruined (ordered med. rare) with an unnecessarily huge mountain of mediocre fries (some other potato presentation would be much preferred, how about a nice potato cake?). My redfish was overdone and the skin beneath was charred black, not in a nice way at all. The flesh "clicked" between my teeth the same way overdone salmon tends to (am I the only one?). Quail was apparently good according to the third diner, and we all agreed the soups and apps were great. Love the space, the bar, and the tru romance cocktail was a lovely melange of citrus, rosemary honey, vodka, and prosecco. I will return, but will avoid some of the dishes, and perhaps dinner time altogether.
We went today with high hopes from your take on it Amysue. Got brunch at 11 am and really enjoyed our experience and 35 dollar tab for two entrees and a side of bacon. Not cheap, but damn good bacon (6 bucks). I was torn b/t the cheeseburger with lardo or the french beef rib dip. The manager slightly nudged the burger and it was scrumptious. rivals any cheeseburger in town and what's not to like about an egg on top? perfectly sunny side up and runny too. bun was great and the fries were hand cut and served with house made aioli and ketchup. Mrs. got the french toast and it was wonderful as well, quality bread, quality custard. I like it, and the hostess, manager / server and service were A+. Twice they wiped up condensation from our glasses and water carafe. Not OTT, just right. can't wait to try the drinks. Next may be the crabby biscuits.
Since I last commented, I've been twice for brunch. I got the aforementioned crabby biscuits (benedict? biscuits n gravy? what do they call them?) both times; they're seriously good and I just couldn't venture to try something else for my main dish. The eggs are perfectly poached on light biscuits with quality crab, yellow grape tomatoes and a not-too-rich hollandaise. Highly recommended.
My friends have gotten the fried chicken, which they enjoyed; I didn't try it. The bacon and sausage are both excellent, and I HIGHLY suggest getting either the fried bread to share, or some of their daily special pastries. The last time I went, a friend and I split a blueberry danish (great) and a bacon / almond danish (!!!). I'm honestly sick of bacon gimmicks, but I could probably eat ten of those things. It conjured a stream of expletives from me.
I give it high marks for brunch, and am looking forward to trying dinner sometime.