Monday, January 12, 2009

Brunch Time

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Dev's on Bank Street. It is also no secret that back in my Ann Arbor restaurant days I was a big fan of brunch. Brunch was the restaurant employee's perfect meal: you'd work late on Saturday, then leisurely meander to whatever was that week's hot spot sometime after 11:00 AM and you got to order booze with your breakfast. In a word, ideal.

Anyway, when we (the Trifecta) learned that Dev's was opening for brunch, we knew we had to check it out. We even managed to get the boys to come with us.

Dev's brunch is served tapas-style, like a significant portion of their dinner menu. You can order small plates of multiple breakfast dishes, all ranging between $3 and $5. The boys were a little skeptical that the small plates would not provide enough food but agreed to check it out anyway.

We needn't have worried.

The portions are smaller than if you ordered a full breakfast at a regular restaurant, yes, but they are by no means wimpy. Amanda and I each started with the French toast - one slice of thick, cinammony-tasting bread not too heavily battered and fried to perfection. The French toast was dusted with powder sugar and, in a glorious touch, was topped by a heap of crispy prosciutto. We drizzled it with a little of the maple syrup served on the side and tucked in. The slightly sweet bread, the maple flavors in the syrup and the salty prosciutto were a match made in heaven.

French Toast with Prosciutto -
This quickly became a table favorite.

Most of us chose egg-based dishes for our second round. The Egg Benito was a popular choice at our table - a poached egg served upon a potato pancake and dressed with sweet potato fondue, with the diner's choice of smoked salmon, prosciutto or spinach. Amanda ordered it with the spinach and Noe and Kevin tried the prosciutto (we're big fans of prosciutto in our group). Once again, we needn't have worried about the portion - the combination of egg, starch, and meat or vegetable was satisfying and filling. The poached eggs were maybe a tad overcooked, but that's a very minor issue and probably just dependent upon whoever cooked them that day. Both versions of the Egg Benito were deemed a hit.

Kevin and Noe's Eggs Benito -
another big hit with our group.

While the boys and Amanda were tucking in Benito-style, Katie and I picked slightly different veggie and egg-based choices. Katie went in for the Flamingo Egg - another poached egg creation, this time served on a mound of roasted vegetables; I chose the Spanish Frittata, a mini open-face omelet stuffed with roasted red peppers, ham and cheese. Both dishes were delectable - once again, the poached egg was perhaps just a tad overdone, but surrounded by a mountain of perfectly roasted potatoes, peppers, and other veggies. The Frittata was cooked perfectly and bursting with the fillings.

The Spanish Frittata

Noe choose the Basque sandwich for his second plate. The Basque is served open-face and consists of scrambled eggs, chorizo, potatoes, and red peppers on chewy chibatta bread. Like the other items we ordered, this savory sandwich provided an excellent balance of starch and protein. The slightly spicy chorizo and slightly sweet red peppers proved to be a very complimentary flavor combination. The scrambled eggs were perfect - not too dry but not too wet and runny, either.

The Basque Sandwich

Of course, it wouldn't be brunch without booze. Dev's features both classic brunch cocktails, the mimosa and the bloody Mary - at the extremely reasonable prices of $4 and $3, respectively. While no one really felt like going in for the orange juice and champagne combination this time, Kevin and I did order some bloodies. They were nice and spicy and neither too vodka-y or too tomato-y (the perfect balance can be hard to strike). Kevin first ordered the variation titled "Maria and her Two Amigos" which came with two giant Cajun-season, celery crusted shrimp. The shrimp were so delicious they almost could have been a tapas choice of their own.

It's worth noting that Dev's also provides a good selection of several juices and pours extremely drinkable coffee - and the coffee, although poured from a regular coffee pot and not a thermal carafe or anything of the like, did not ever taste as if it were allowed to sit on a burner and "cook down" - every cup we drank tasted fresh.

We go to Dev's partly for the food, but also for the service. Candace and Bunny are always happy to see us and make a point of coming by to chat. Kristina was friendly and efficient as always and never left us with an empty coffee cup or an empty plate or glass in front of us.

The tapas portions were big enough that we were full after eating two each but small enough to mix and match and try different things. Everything we had was delicious and there are several items on the menu that we were interested in but no one was hungry enough to order (I guess we had banked on the boys being able to eat more than they did). We didn't need a reason to come back, but the anticipation of trying out those items - and those $4 mimosas - gives us one.

Hopefully Dev's brunch will stick around - it's the perfect way to start a Sunday.

View the complete brunch menu here:


Amanda said...

yum - I'm now hungry for brunch again!

jim morrison said...

That's for the heads up, I had no idea they did brunch.