Green Eggs Cafe

8 03 2012

We recently spent a lovely morning at Green Eggs Cafe celebrating Chad’s birthday. There are two locations: one in Northern Liberties and one in South Philly. We made the quick drive to NoLibs and found parking pretty easily at 9:30 on a Sunday morning.

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With the no reservations policy, it was smart we got there as early as we did, as soon after we arrived the place filled up and a long line outside started to form. We were a party of eight plus one toddler. Unfortunately, the only available space was a table really made for six, and there was no room for a high chair, so Anabel took turns sitting on our laps. 

The ambience was a bit tense, as the servers waited for us to decide if we would stay in the cramped quarters or leave.  We decided to stay, and I almost felt the staff regret our decision.  There was a bit of a hoity toity air about the place, but maybe I’ve just been in the burbs for too long and am overly sensitive to center city attitudes.  We did notice the interesting item menu below–if you can’t make it out through the blur, it is a “Carafe of Valencia Orange Juice served with a complimentary bottle of prosecco” for $30.  Huh.

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Adding to the feeling of being annoying customers, the sign below also didn’t help us to feel any more welcomed.

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I do understand the problem of a wait, but I don’t see any other local brunch hot spots being so obvious–nothing on the tables at the Morning Glory Diner, at least the last time I checked.

In any case, all of the food was amazingly delicious.  My stuffed french toast (below) was truly a treat and I took half of it home as leftovers.  Which brings me to my next gripe.

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Yes, the establishment has an eco-conscious philosophy, but charging for a take out container? Really? If I had known, I would have brought my own Tupperware. 

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I think that the management here is just a little too up tight. I can see how the local NoLibs crowd would flock to a place as trendy as the Green Eggs Cafe but this old school gal probably won’t be going back, no matter how good their food is and earth conscious they are.





Le Pain Quotidien

11 09 2011

What a find!

I hadn’t been out to eat in the city for a while and am always worried about taking Anabel out, even though she is generally a very good baby. My brother chose Le Pain Quotidien for a brunch with my family on Saturday and we all loved it, even Anabel.

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The noise level was high enough so that a rambunctious baby wouldn’t be heard, but not so noisy that you couldn’t have a conversation over brunch. Our waitresses were so accommodating and thoughtful. The food was perfect. Between the six of us, we had a huge bread basket; two ham and gruyere croissants; many bowls of fresh berries; and a few omelettes. All of which got rave reviews.

It’s difficult taking food photos with a baby in tow.  That’s OK.  Just take my word for it that it all looked appetizing and go check it out for yourself.  I look forward to going back very soon.

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There was also a very impressive selection of desserts:
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And as I said, Anabel loved it, too.  She ate her first blackberry and piece of bread there.

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Sabrina’s Cafe

3 06 2010

Because Matt and I are now both early risers, we decided to head down to South Philly on Memorial Day weekend and start the day with brunch at Sabrina’s Cafe.

Sabrina’s is known for its long waits and delicious brunches.  When we arrived at 9:00, the tables outside were already full, although we didn’t have to wait long for one.

Baby P is craving carbs, unfortunately, so I indulged her and ordered the Kate’s Explosive Stuffed French Toast ($11.95) stuffed with apricot, oatmeal and ricotta cream cheese, topped with a peach-vanilla syrup from the “Lost Brunch Special Menu.”

Completely decadent and way humongous, I managed to finish one half and save the other half for dessert that night (it was just as good cold). The pieces of bread were sandwiched together with egg.  All of my favorite things were thrown in–apricots, strawberries, blueberries, ricotta, and bread.  I didn’t really taste or see the oatmeal, but I didn’t miss it.

Matt ordered the Eggs Benedict Florentine ($10.95):  Poached eggs, spinach and hollandaise sauce with Canadian bacon. The avocado and tomato were an extra $2.00.  The report from Matt: good and huge.  He couldn’t even finish his hash browns.

Sabrina’s is also a popular dinner BYOB but why would anyone wait for dinner when they can get brunch like this?





Windy Day at Terrain

12 05 2010

A whole year had gone by since our last trip to Terrain at Styers and the overwhelming majority decision was that that isn’t often enough. Matt and I are already planning a Day Staycation there some time this summer.

It’s a great place to take your mom.  Pretty flower arrangements…

natural surroundings…

cute plants and decorations…

funky ferns…

and lots to buy, or want to buy,

makes Mom very happy.

And we hadn’t even sat down to eat yet.  This was the open seating area in the cafe, but luckily we had procured one of the last available reservations in the greenhouse.

I couldn’t keep track of everyone’s lunches.  Mine started with an unsweetened berry tea, fabulous and refreshing. It’s hard to find unsweetened iced tea in Philly.

We ordered the tomato mozzerella sandwich to share.

Mom and Dad both ordered the leek and goat cheese omelette. Mom wanted ketchup but discovered that she didn’t need it because the dish was so moist and tasty.

My chicken salad sandwich was light but chock full of white meat chicken chunks and veggies (with capers! I love capers!).

We all had room for lemon tart at the end of our meals. Smooth, airy, sweet, and it hit the spot.

Unfortunately, it was too windy and cold that day to spend too much time outside, but we did manage to all go home with some plants and goodies.  We can’t wait to go back.





Terrain at Styers

11 05 2009

Terrain at Styers is a magical place. We went for Mother’s Day and it was like we were transported from Northeast Philadelphia to Sonoma or Southern France or New Zealand.  The focus is on their nursery and greenhouses filled with every annual, perennial, tree, bush, vase, terrarium, and gardening tool you could ever need.  It’s a miracle I only spent $15.90 on one hen and chicken and two basil plants.

We had reservations at the Styer’s Garden Cafe for the Mother’s Day Brunch. At $35 for three courses, I expected a lot out of this place.  

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My expectations were easily exceded. The cafe is in a greenhouse filled with hanging pots, moss-covered walls, and rustic doors.
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The wonder of the cafe is that on a day like Sunday–sunny and mild but with a crisp wind blowing–you can sit in the warmth of the greenhouse and still experience all of the wonders of the outside.
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The menu was brilliant. I always like my brunches to be more like breakfast and less like lunch, and there was a perfect blend of choices on the menu to satisfy every type of brunching taste bud.
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The decor was antique-chic with our water served in mason jars:
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We each got a hibiscus mimosa (included), which was refreshing and sweet:
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The coffee was nice and strong, served in large mugs. It was at this point that the family started to brainstorm about the cafe and shop we could open together with all of our hidden talents, the one missing being pottery.
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The scones weren’t part of the menu, but we ordered two anyway. Honey oat maple:
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and cheddar horseradish:
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Both were tasty and just moist enough to not need butter or clotted cream and jam, although it would have been nice.

Then the fresh-out-of-the-oven honey wheat bread arrived with chive butter. So adorable, so light, so sweet.
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Andrew and Chad got the crab meat salad with asparagus.  They ate it right up before I could taste it.  That means it was good.
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I got the yogurt. I had a feeling about it. I know that the crab salad probably would have made more sense to get the full value of the $35, but I like my yogurt in the morning. This was so amazing. It was more like a dessert, according to Mom. Creamy, smooth, with light olive oil and mint, tart dried cherries, and juicy grapefruit pieces. That’s all she wrote. I was full when I finished.
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Mom and Dad got the garlic and spinach soup. It looked charming when served, but I secretly think they were disappointed and would have rather had my yogurt. So since it was Mother’s Day, I shared my yogurt with my mom and she was happy.
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French toast with mascarpone: the bite I had was sinful.
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The cheddar scramble with fingerling potatoes was perfectly cooked. I took a chance on this because I am picky about my eggs. They cannot be too underdone and I actually sometimes like a little brown around the edges. These were fluffy but not runny. The fingerling potatoes were cooked whole with the eggs: so Irish Breakfast-esque! The arugula was spicy but creamy with the shaved Parmesan. My dad, Chad, and I all got this and my dad and I were fine with the greens. Chad didn’t eat his because he said they were gritty.
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We all ate the hibiscus flowers in our mimosas and they were sweet and juicy and not at all weird.
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For dessert, strawberries with cream and balsamic. At this point I was ready to be rolled out of the cafe so I didn’t focus much on this dish. From what I tried, the cream was luscious but the strawberries a bit too mushy. I decided to keep my stomach from exploding and quit while I was ahead. Again, I made Mom happy by sharing my strawberries with her.
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After brunch we strolled around the grounds for about an hour before we found a nice table under an umbrella and out of the wind. We sat for two hours, talking, observing, sunning. We really thought that we had been transported to another place and time. I will be returning here again and again and again. Double thumbs up for Terrain at Styers.

Check out these blogs for more cool info. on Terrain at Styers:

You Grow Girl
The Estate of Things

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