I have this brunch thing. So do my friends. It’s that thing that happens when someone says, “Let’s go to brunch!” and the mind goes completely blank. It’s ridiculous. I have decided to overcome the problem by maintaining a list of brunch spots on my iPhone. With any luck at all, I won’t forget I have the list.
Last Sunday, friend Holly and I decided to try a new spot (for us) within walking/biking distance of my new place (although we drove, with best intentions to leave the car at home next time). Virgil’s Cafe is a tiny spot along the main ‘historic’ drag in Bellevue which was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I’d stopped by for a late afternoon bowl of their shrimp and tomato bisque the day before and knew that Holly would love the deep ochre wall color, and the bright splashes of colorful orignal artwork on display. The chairs are all mismatched and the tables are covered with black tablecloths topped with butcher paper. Each of the two storefront windows in the front room has a table for two for those who enjoy people watching while dining and there’s a cozy little curtained room with just one table for four. A row of booths connects front and rear dining rooms. If you take a seat in the back dining area, you can peek in through the service window and watch Chef at work, or have a libation at tiny, but charming bar. Did I mention that as you enter there’s a wood and glass bread box with fresh house made loaves on display? Ahhhh, Nirvana.
Almost everything on the menu is made from scratch and the brunch menu changes every week. Let’s get this party started. Bloody Mary, please! Extra spicy!
Beautiful and spicy – enough to break into a bit of a sweat! Don’t like ‘em hot? They’ll adjust the spice level to your liking. Fancifully zested lime, firm stuffed olive, a sprig of sorrel (the spray of tiny pink flowers) and another of salad burnet (the sprig with the little pine cone-ish orbs).
It’s a Veggie Benedict. House made English muffin, mustard greens, mushrooms duxelle, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. [Click on these links if you want to try this at home!]. Served with crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside redskin potatoes and fresh fruit.
Look how thick the English muffin is! The lemony Hollandaise almost looks like the yolks of the eggs have already been opened. Until….
…you actually pierce the egg and let the golden yolk ooze out onto the plate.
The heck with my iPhone Brunch List! I won’t have a problem remembering Virgil’s.