Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sabrina's Café @ Powelton, Philadelphia PA

Outside Sabrina's Cafe @ Powelton

 Sabrina's Cafe is known for their incredible brunch specials, generous portion sizes, and long lines. Sabrina's at Powelton may have long lines later in the day (or perhaps this location is still new enough to avoid the wait?), but thankfully our brunching party of eight was seated as soon as we all arrived on a recent Sunday morning!

Sabrina's @ Powelton has a distantly collegiate vibe. From the mahogany walls, Brontësque winding staircase in the front hall, and the large windows on the one hand, to the long "caf" tables and benches and the very un-brunch loud music on the other. 

Fresh Squeezed OJ

I ordered the Apple and Wisconsin Cheddar Omelette ($8.29) with a small fresh orange juice ($3.49). The omelet was delicious. The apples provided a satisfying crunch, with a surprisingly perfect dash of cinnamon that nicely balanced the cheddar's tangy sharpness. The side of fried potato with onions were perfectly crispy. 

Apple & Wisconsin Cheddar Omelette

Barking Chihuahua

One brunchmate ordered the  Barking Chihuahua ($8.99). A delicious breakfast burrito filled with eggs, black beans, red peppers & pepper jack cheese. The crispy tortillas that topped it added a satisfying crunch.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Another brunchmate tried the buttermilk pancakes ($6.59 for full stack, $4.99 for the short stack). Served with real maple syrup, these are traditional  & delicious.

The "White Hats" Egg White Omelet
Sabrina's specials change quiet often, and usually have a theme to them. This week the theme was Star Wars, with clever titles such as "Imperial Eggs Benedict," "The Long Walk Nachos," "Palpatine's Pumpkin Patty Cakes."  A brunchmate ordered The "White Hats" Egg White Omelet ($10.95), a unique combination of peas, onions, crimini mushrooms, and manchego cheese.  

Another Special That Looks Delicious-I forget which one it was.

Bagel with Lox Platter

One brunchmate tried the Bagel with Lox Platter ($9.99). Served with capers, fresh tomato, onion, calamata olives, and Sabrina's delicious cream cheese, the only thing lacking in this meal the bagel itself. Nothing wrong, per say, but it tasted store-bought and lacked the wonderful goodness of a New York bagel. 

A dish that is sure to please (though it may leave you in a bit of a carb coma), is Sabrina's renowned Stuffed Challah French Toast ($9.99). Thick, moist layers of fresh challah bread are filled with a tart farmer's cream cheese. Soaked in vanilla bean syrup and served with fresh bananas, it is hard to go wrong with this one.

Stuffed Challah French Toast

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The one big negative that I would give, is that the child's meal, a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, was served well-after everyone else. The waiter apologized for the wait-- the chef had forgotten that the little one had requested it without tomatoes and apparently had to make it over, but at that point it might have made more sense for the waiter to ask the parents if the meal should have been sent back or if the tomatoes could have been picked off.  Leaving the youngest member of our party to wait for food was not very nice.  

Also, I believe that the sandwich was ordered off a special kid's menu. And if that's the case, it was proportionally quite large for your average young child. Despite that, when I asked for a review of the sandwich itself, this brunchmate's huge grin confirmed that the grilled cheese was thoroughly enjoyed.

This is one big kid's meal!

Drawbacks aside, Sabrina's newest location has a lot to offer with spacious tables and a large menu. There is surely something for everyone, even with a large group of brunchmates.

If you go:
  • 34th & Powelton, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Phone: (215) 222-1022
  • They accept credit cards.
  • Sabrina's Cafe

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Community Food & Juice, New York NY

 On a recent visit to New York, I had the opportunity to brunch at Community. Quite popular even on a weekday, there was a bit of a wait. While the atmosphere was a bit of a hustle and bustle, and nothing amazingly incredible, the food was fresh and delicious.

 I tried the Truffled Quiche ($14). The house-made crust was flaky and buttery, the truffled wild mushrooms had an earthy yet delicate flavor that paired nicely with the leeks and cheese. Served with a side of greens, it was filling without being heavy.

I also ordered a hot chocolate, which was good quality but too milky-sweet for me.

 A brunchmate ordered the  Biscuit Sandwich ($14),  scrambled cage-free eggs, chicken-apple sausage and Cabot cheddar cheese served with tomato jam and carrot hash browns. It was good but could have used a side of greens to complement the biscuit.

Another brunchmate ordered this delicious looking meal. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was--I think it may have been a special. The heirloom carrots were a nice touch and there were no complaints.

If you go:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pasta Everyone Can Eat

Recently a brunchmate made the most delicious pasta for me. It was made entirely out of...wait for it...zucchini! ("zuculini")

At first I wasn't sure what to expect. Quiet honestly, I wasn't expecting to love it. But if you are hesitant as well, then clearly you haven't tasted it.

This dish is so delicious that I ran out and bought a julienne shredder to be able to make it. Here is my own twist on the original:


1 tablespoon of chopped sweet onions
1 teaspoon of ghee
1 medium zucchini
2 shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon (or to taste) sea salt

Julienne the zucchini while heating ghee & slightly caramelizing onions over medium heat. Add zucchini & shiitake slices. Add dash of salt or other spices to taste. Add splashes of water & also adjust heat to keep from sticking to the pan or burning. Serve as is, or grate cheese on top.

Serves one.