Monday, August 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I've been to Paggi House a handful of times but never to eat a full meal. Once upon a time my good friend was an original partner in the business, so occasionally we'd connect for drinks and appetizers in the one of a kind, stone constructed, courtyard bar. But after a 2 year hiatus, my fading memory recalls a once impressive wine and some type of plated hors d'oeuvre. Evidently time for my return! Enter Breakfast In Austin and my desire to experience the reputable Paggi House brunch. Some say one of the best in town...
My companion for Sunday's jaunt? Gary, or G-Man. Boyfriend extraordinaire and quite possibly the best breakfast mate with a discerning critical eye. No rainbows, butterflies or fluffy B.S. with this man. I figured if anyone could see through an overrated place, G-Man would. In any case, we arrived to this 1840's historical structure before our 11:15 a.m. reservation to free valet parking and a perky hostess dressed for the inevitable party happening later that night. We were asked politely to wait a few minutes for seating, so I ordered a Bloody Mary from the bar and my companion an Iced Tea.
After a quick 10 minutes, we were seated at a quaint 4-top inside. G-Man quickly commented on the Paggi House architecture reminding him of landmarks in Charleston, South Carolina. A definite feel good for G-Man. While waiting on our server, we laughed at the musical stylings of Bob Marley singing from the speakers. Love our reggae but seemed an odd choice in these surroundings - especially with a jazz band playing outside.
Our nameless but excellent server welcomed us by explaining most of the Sunday samplings were set up buffet style in the west end of Paggi House. With that we gathered our hunger and tasted fresh fruit with homemade whipped cream, home made pastries, french toast, bleu cheese grits, bacon, breakfast sausage, mini-quiche, roasted pork tenderloin, grilled zucchini and red onion and hash browns. The hits? The fresh fruit and cream were delicious, bleu cheese grits amazingly flavorful and the quiche worth mentioning. Unfortunately the french toast was SOGGY, the pastries bland and the other offerings just standard.
Separately, we were encouraged to order Chicken and Waffles, Eggs Any Style (benedict, scrambled, sunny side up, over easy or poached) or Omelet's from the kitchen. As if these options weren't enough, we were free to order an unlimited amount. Really??!! An absolute dream for me! I finally took the plunge in sampling Chicken and Waffles. Brave but definitely not my favorite - dark meat, gag - but quite interesting and cool in presentation. Always a sucker for the Benedict, I ordered one portion and was sadly letdown with the over use of butter in the hollandaise sauce, although the ham and poached egg were cooked well.
To top off any gluttony, we patrons have that instinctual need to combine our food and beverage, right? Paggi House delivers in this arena. Drink selections include Mimosas - $1, Spicy Bloody Mary's - $2.50, Raspberry Lemonade with Vodka - $4, Strawberry Mojito's with Silver Rum - $4.50, Red Wine Sangria - $2.50 OR you can overindulge your senses with a $20 pitcher. I opted for another Spicy Bloody Mary (that'd be 2 if you're counting) and neither were spicy enough. I ended my meal with a cup of the organic drip coffee, which was a splendid way to end this eating experience at Paggi House.
No huge regrets in Paggi House Sunday brunch but I am left with two big O's. 1 - Overrated and 2 - Overindulgent. Think a few times before adding Paggi House as your #1 breakfast destination, as the food isn't as mouth watering as you might be led to believe and the cost in my opinion is unreasonable. Will I return? Most likely yes, but for dinner or their reverse happy hour in the late p.m.
Serving Sunday brunch at the Paggi House from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Diners are encouraged to call for a reservation at 512.473.3700
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
After our half-giddy/half-we're eating & blogging together greeting, we ordered drinks and scoured the menu's. GFG's? Purely gluten-free. Mine? Not so much. Nice to have options! GFG opted for a delicious Migas spread with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cheddar cheese & corn tortillas. Standard sides of black beans and home fries finished the plating. Seemingly affordable at $8.95 and making gluten-free look appealing to the masses.
On the other end of the menu, I was obligated to feast on Eastside Cafe's Classic Eggs Benedict with two perfectly poached eggs, generous cuts of tasty ham and a glutenous English muffin, topped with a flavorful and creamy hollandaise sauce. Added was a side of hand cut home frieswhich were especially satisfactory. Mini corn bread muffins were provided in place of the preferred blueberry as a warm up. An expected price of $11.95. Was I disappointed in one of my favorite dishes? No - the sauce was great! But I left hoping there had been more hollandaise atop my benedict gem.
I would definitely recommend swinging by the Eastside Cafe for brunch. Should the desire kick in, Eastside Cafe serves on Saturday and Sunday, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. They're also happy to take your reservation by phoning them at (512) 476-5858. The food is fresh, flavorful and the service reflective of Austin's laid back dining style. Where else can you wander the grounds and peek into an established garden or see baby chicks in a coop?
For any overflow caused by a long wait or should you have any shopping needs, the Cafe's ownership opened a neighboring store called Pitchforks & Tablespoons. There is definitely something for everyone (coffee, books, gifts, plants), plus a 22 year old lounging cat who looks like he's had more than 9 lives. Really.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I've played with and reviewed restaurants in the past but it was just so random and I never truly had a niche. Writing about breakfast has been churning steadily in my head for some time now and it just makes sense! I enjoy this meal more than most and have typically quested to find the "best eggs benedict" or the "best cup of coffee". Austin has some truly impressive cuisine and what better way to explore an aspect of the city that for me has been limited to a few taco stands, Kerbey Lane Cafe, Magnolia, Sweetish Hill, a couple of random brunches and a variety of coffee joints!?
So I propose to myself a win-win situation! I will eat breakfast or brunch one time a week, posting thereafter for the period of one year. It'll knock out quite a few of my favorite things - writing, photography, eating and spending time with friends, family and some business folks. I'm really excited to see how this develops and would be thrilled for you to take this ride with me!
I'd love suggestions and or comments - anytime!
To all things breakfast ~