Breakfast and Lunch
An Anne & Steve review
When you first arrive your waiter gives you a full cup of good crayons with your cup of coffee and away you go on your blank canvas (paper place-mat) with hopes and dreams of getting your impromptu artwork on their bulletin board. On the opposing wall there's another white board with the daily specials.
Nuthin' too fancy up there but the Eggs Florentine special Steve had were the best version of one of his all time favorite brunch selections since first experiencing this Sunday staple in its nascent stage at an Upper West Side NYC joint called Pershings. This establishment was just around the corner from the Dakota where John, Yoko and Sean lived and if you lived in the area you'd see John walking around in his trademark NYC cutoff T. You'd see him in the street often enough to wave a familiar hello and get one back. You felt really good about your neighborhood just knowing he was hanging around watching the wheels as it were. The dish was probably first designed as a vegetarian alternative to the familiar Eggs Benedict but most devotees order a side of breakfast meat as I did this Sunday which was a crispy tasty trio of bacon slices.
The Martin's version of this dish was so well constructed that you could order it without the english muffin and it wouldn't be all that different for a wheat-free delight. The cooked not yet wilted spinach adds a nice healthy green layer and with perfectly poached eggs which were only runny when you punctured them mixes with the hollandaise sauce (Mornay sauce was used in the original). This all becomes a sumptuous liquid to dip your potatoes into and brought me right back to my old upper west side NYC brunches and my memories of seeing my musical hero hanging around who is truly missed but the dish I learned to love around the corner from him when I lived there too lives on.
We also almost inexplicably ordered the buckwheat pancakes which were absolutely delicious with real maple syrup and butter so I was a gourmand in this instance filling up my belly with everything in sight. I'm not sure if they are gluten free but they were anything but fun free because boy were they a nice big short stack of not your mama's kasha tasting delectables.
Anne had the Sausage Grits and Scrambled Eggs troika and this interesting amalgam of flavors was a bit blander than one would think mostly because the sausage was not greasy but lean which could be a good thing after all. The Italian omelet was probably a tastier choice. She also had a fresh avocado on the side so we were both being green for this breakfast and it was a really good one too no specks just all good like all the the food here, all fresh and good for you but served in a relaxed dinner style and that's why they have such a great reputation.
This is the place to hang out and take in the all that is great about Great Barrington. An artistic down home yet hip enough all ages vibe. We were very pleased with everything and the service and atmosphere can't be beat. This is an institution at the end of Railroad Street and deservedly so.