...the only type of marathon I will ever run.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Square One

I've eaten at Square One eight times in the last three months. It's a testament to the quality of food (and the amount that I eat breakfast and lunch out on the weekend).
Before I work down the menu, I'll note that the soups are always fantastic and I'm a big fan of soup (chickpea, tomato, kale and gruyere pictured here) with any meal. Also, the braised oxtail and braised short ribs are no longer on the menu, because it took too long to prepare them in conjunction with the big brunch crowds and quick-fix breakfast items.
-chorizo, tomato, jalapeno, onion and mozzarella omelet: the eggs are always fluffy, portion sizes are good. the chorizo and jalapeno combine for an excellent kick, which is partially tamed by the eggs and cheese.
-bacon, tomato, mozzarella and spinach omelet: Nueske Farms Wisconsin Applewood thick-sliced bacon can make or break this omelet. I lived in Wisconsin and judging by the average weight, I trust that they know good bacon. The only problem with the thick-sliced variety is that you can get large chunks of fat- which I don't complain about, but may not appeal to some breakfast-goers.
-shitake, oyster mushroom and feta omelet: terrific flavor, just a bit too much liquid from cooking the mushrooms.
garlic/lemon thyme chicken sausage, roasted tomato and gruyere: there's nothing light about this one. the flavor is intense and rich. perfect with a side of potatoes.
-three slices brioche french toast with bourbon pecan topping and vanilla whipped cream- this is dessert. if it's your birthday and you a decadent breakfast, this would be the choice. sweet and syrupy.
-sauteed mustard and collard greens, with mushrooms and shaved gruyere on grits served piping hot in a skillet- there's an egg on top as well.... between the greens, cheese and grits, this is another filling breakfast. the flavors blend well, just don't burn your mouth.
-pressed egg sandwich with two scrambled eggs, tomato, arugula and aioli on toasted brioche- the bread and texture of the eggs make the breakfast sandwiches at Square One a cut above anyone else's.
-grits with bacon and cheese- i like the grits better topped with cholesterol than on their own, but i still find them bland in general.
The fruit salad, roasted potatoes, hot/iced teas, etc. are all top rate as well. I haven't had any of the desserts yet, but there's still plenty of time.
I like the mom-and-pop nature of Square One. Phil, the owner, has a friendly disposition
and obviously knows that good food keeps people coming back. My qualm is that there isn't a designated host/manager. Phil is always running around (slightly manic but always in good spirits) seating diners, serving food, bussing tables, chatting with customers, etc. I've seen him run down to the bodega to buy more jalapenos at 11am on a Sunday. He needs a right hand, someone who can seat diners and bus tables while he takes names and maintains order in the kitchen. Also Phil needs to buy three more umbrellas for the patio.
The point of this post is that on most weekends you'll find me (and probably the Charlie Manson-looking guy) at Square One.


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