Aunties & Uncles

I usually enjoy an at-home weekend brunch. Since I became a good cook it has seemed more reasonable to just make eggs benedict rather than going out. Especially when I make it on a toasted croissant rather than the typical english muff or bagel. “Eggs Sophedict”, we called it. It consists of a toasted croissant, crispy bacon, sliced avocado, and a poached egg smothered in thyme hollandaise.

More recently, I started making huevos rancheros for weekend brunch. A fried corn tortilla, some black beans pan-fried with cumin, cayenne and chili powder, diced shallots, fresh guacamole, a fried egg sprinkled with cheese and cilantro and served with sour cream and/or salsa on the side. I will throw in some roasted potatoes occasionally to mix things up. Soooooooo gooooood. But I found myself missing the hollandaise. One of the finer things in life is indulging in hollandaise on the weekends. I would never find myself eating such a rich and fattening thing for a weekday breakfast (banana & yogourt, 5 days a week). So I brainstormed a recipe that would allow for a…shall we say, fusion…of the two traditional breakfast dishes:
Huevos Benedict consists of a fried corn tortilla, black beans (see above), guacamole, a poached egg, diced shallots and cilantro, smothered in chipotle hollandaise. Skip the cheese.
Occasionally, though, I do enjoy trying out a new place and letting someone else do all the work while serving me endless cups of coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice. The boy and I have both agreed that we will never find such a perfect breakfast place as Floyd’s in Victoria. These guys have it down pat. Excellent service by attractive, young and energetic staff. Delectable food. Nice atmosphere. And of course, “the Mahoney”, which is the menu item ordered by a more adventurous type of breakfast eater (the Boy orders it every time without fail). The idea is that you order it and the chef makes you whatever he damn well feels like. It could be waffles stacked sky high and topped with nuts, whipped cream and powdered sugar. It could be a scramble of eggs, various meats and onions. It could be a benedict. The point is, you have no idea what you’re getting. Then, when it comes time to pay the bill, you flip a coin, and if you win, your meal is free. If you lose, you pay double. The Boy endured a winning streak of 9 free meals at one time. Plus, in BC restaurants can start serving booze at 9 am rather than 11, so a caesar or three is usually imbibed by the end of brunch, when you roll out of your chair and head towards the door.
Which brings me to the psychology of brunch places. When they’re good, they’re like exclusive nightclubs. I remember once when trying to get into the Sunshine Cafe in Victoria, we approached the hostess and asked how long of a wait it would be. She looked us up and down and asked incredulously if we were “on the list”. When we said no, she said “Oh, at least an hour”.
A lineup of anxious would-be patrons waits outside, in groups of two, four, or worse, more. They shuffle up to the host and call out their numbers with the glimmer of hope in their eyes, only to be told that it will be a 15-20 minute wait. Everyone in the “waiting” group has the same social status. Occasionally a group will breeze through, breathlessly proclaiming that they had made a reservation, while the others sneer with disgust or jealousy or regret at not having the forethought to have done so themselves. When the host comes out, all eyes switch excitedly to him or her, wondering if they will be called next. The anticipation is palpable. He/she will look around and state: “Two, for…Bob?”. The chosen ones will jump up and amble into the seating area, hiding smug little smiles, suddenly elevated to the status of customer. The rest will go back to their small talk, commenting on the weather and ignoring their tummy growls and pounding hangover headaches. Once seated, they take their time perusing the menu with the self-confidence that only a chosen one could have. They have deep and meaningful conversations over steaming coffee, and when the food arrives, they graciously accept and mow down. When leaving, their eyes glazed and bellies full, they don’t even notice the new generation of waiters and their sharp glances.
This was our experience at Aunties and Uncles on College this weekend. What would normally be used as a patio was relegated to waiting area as the skies threatened rain to come. We all quietly waited our turn to be told we could enter and be seated. We were asked to go upstairs. The decor in this place looks like it could have been furnished via a trip to the dump. Antique and vintage knick knacks prevailed. The service was rather slow, yet friendly and the clientele was so hipster I felt overdressed in my jeans, white blouse and messy ponytail. Despite these factors, the food was unquestioningly excellent. I had the special – a sandwich with peameal bacon, swiss cheese and a fried egg on challah toast with garlic mayo. The boy had the breakfast pocket, which is eggs and bacon on a focaccia bun.
The total was under thirty dollars with coffee and fresh OJ, so it was well worth the wait – and it prepared us well for the subsequent trip to Ikea.

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Categories: Food

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  1. Sunday Breakfast « Soph n' Stuff - October 24, 2010

    […] Oct You may recall a post from some time ago when I rambled on about breakfast. I think one of the reasons Cheesler continues to put up with me is my delicious brunches. I have […]

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