Tuesday, January 5, 2010

back into the brunch

Went to Emerald Coast Coffee & Grille with my friend Buffi for brunch on Sunday. They offer a three-course affair with (nonalcoholic) drink pairings for $10, which ends up being a completely ludicrous amount of food and caffeine.

First up was a pastry involving white chocolate, cranberries, and wonderfully soft, creamy, cakey dough -- paired with a plain cup of lovely rich coffee. Second was a fluffy omelet with grated onions and potatoes and a side of mildly spicy salsa -- paired, somewhat confusingly, with a sweet, Irish cream-flavored mocha. Third was a half of a Cuban-inspired sandwich consisting of thin-sliced roast pork with a good, tangy balance of pickles and mustard and excellently melty cheese served on a pillowy bread -- paired, again somewhat confusingly, with a milky iced chai. They were happy to make the drinks with soymilk or skim milk, to our liking. (Though really, they were happy to do everything to our liking. Very pleasant, noninstrusive, helpful staff.)

It's a terrific deal for huge appetites or people with a good three hours on their hands. It was a bit much for me, food- and caffeine-wise -- next time I'll order decaf on any mixed drinks, and will consider compiling a tableful of half-eaten dishes for taking home. I might've been conflictingly heavy and bouncy for the rest of the day.

I'm not sure what else there is by way of reasonably-priced brunch in the areas around Brookahven. I've been to the Terminus Flying Biscuit (which, like all the offshoot FB locations, seems incapable of cooking eggs to order or hiring waitstaff as endearingly unhelpful as the hipster kids who work the original location) and to the Corner Cafe on Piedmont (which serves generous portions of delicious food for its high prices, has perhaps overly polite waiters, and is reasonable to get into on Saturday mornings).

Anyone have any places to recommend?

For the record, my favorite places to brunch in town are Steinbeck's in Oakhurst (for savory, hearty dishes -- their brisket hash with creamy potatoes and perfect poached eggs is approximately the best thing I've ever eaten), Canoe in Vinings (for special occasions, as they're pricey and expect one to act like a decent human being before having coffee), and Gato Bizco in Candler Park (which is that place across from Flying Biscuit with its own line of waiting customers -- for honest diner dishes in huge portions, including lots of southwest-themed items and sweet potato pancakes). So uh. Possibly I'm a hipster and think that breakfast should either be schmancy or served by people with tattoos who are likely to be hungover, too.

Are there any places like that north of Decatur? Tell me about your favorite brunch spot even if it's not north of Decatur. Or even if it's not anywhere near Atlanta.


juliana said...

West Egg is pretty good, though possibly overrated. And I'm absolutely a devotee of Thumbs Up Diner, forever and ever amen.

Briana said...

It's not super fancy or incredible, but just for a cup of joe and some french toast I really do enjoy J. Christopher's, of which there are now multiple locations.

the grammar monkey said...

West Egg! I've only been there once (with you!) for brunch, and have always meant to go back and try more things. And I've never been to Thumbs Up... really want to try them, though.

And I've never been to any of the J. Christopher'ses, either!

We should go to these places together sometime.

Summer said...

You seem to refer to yourself as a hipster quite a bit. I do not think you are a hipster AT ALL! I do not like hipsters and you are way cool and have a normal hair-cut. Oh, and you were right on about the consumerism.

the grammar monkey said...

Ha! Thanks for the backup. I know I'm not a hipster -- if I were, I'd never ever refer to myself as one. Also I'd have more skinny jeans and perhaps some ironic facial hair.

The Frugal Hostess said...

White House Diner - the weirdest cheapest place for breakfast - hidden in Buckhead

Summer said...

I'm totally grossed out by the idea of you with facial hair. And there is nothing wrong with skinny jeans. So long as you wear them properly. Like with pirate hooker boots.

the grammar monkey said...

I am not of the correct proportions to wear skinny jeans. My legs are too short, and my torso is too curvy. Also I like having a little bit of extra material between my ass and the world. Though I'll do us both a favor and not try to grow that facial hair.

Thanks for the White House recommendation -- I hadn't heard of it before! Will have to try it out. Yay casual places in Buckhead!

Summer said...

I just had a HILARIOUS image of you with a handelbar mustache.

Tom Bailey said...

I was going to say the white house dinner. I like your blog. Your consumerism viewpoints were very interesting.

Tom Bailey

Cara M. said...

I gotta second J. Christophers. Go with the Creme Brulee french toast if you're feeling decadent, or the Big Bubbah if your feeling southern-y (best biscuits and gravy I've somehow come across).
Also hi! I don't normally add people randomly, but I think I found your blog while researching Prohibition, and got all excited about your Atlanta Foodie posts lol

the grammar monkey said...

=) Thanks for reading, Tom -- I'm glad you're enjoying it! Now I'll definitely have to try White House Diner.

And hi yourself, Cara! Thanks for the recommendations -- I'm always on the lookout for good biscuits & gravy. I didn't start this blog out thinking that I'd talk about local restaurants, but recently I realized that I love food too much to not write about it. ^__^ Thanks for reading!