October 5, 2006

Sunday's Best

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Sunday: that dreaded day which marks the end of the glorious weekend. No more putting off the hundreds of pages of reading, problem sets, and studying that we promised ourselves we would do before Sunday night, but never did. No more time spent watching marathons on television, swearing to ourselves that we would start working during the next commercial break, but never did. Such a sad, sad day. However, there is one wonderful thing about Sunday, and I bet you all know what I’m talking about. Yes, Sunday is the day in which we treat ourselves to a delicious brunch, partly to make up for the fact that the rest of the day will be terrible and partly because we are too tired to actually make a decent breakfast ourselves. In my opinion, brunch is the best Sunday activity, besides football and beer, and I was lucky enough to have my brunch with a couple of friends at the Carriage House Café, on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Buffalo Street.
Now, this was not my first trip to the Carriage House. In fact, it is one of my favorite places to go for brunch (and lunch and dinner). However, this was my first brunch at the Carriage House this semester, so I was anxious to see whether the food was as good as I remembered. Arriving at the restaurant at about 11:00 on Sunday morning, I could tell immediately that the food had retained its excellent quality as there was a large number of people waiting outside the restaurant for tables within. Upon entering the crowded restaurant, I was overwhelmed by the cozy ambiance and the delicious aromas that surrounded me. The hostess informed me that I would have to wait about thirty minutes for a table, but as I was determined to have a fantastic brunch, I chose to wait it out instead of trying to find somewhere else to eat.
After what felt like an eternity, but in actuality was only about forty-five minutes, my name was called and we were seated at a somewhat small table. Not one of us minded the cramped space, however, as we were all extremely hungry and anxious for our food. Within five minutes, the waitress arrived at our table and we placed our order: two multigrain waffles with fresh fruit, berry coulis, honey sweetened yogurt, and maple syrup (for me and my friend), one almond stuffed brioche French toast with toasted almonds (for my other friend) and a round of small coffees. No sooner than a minute after the waitress left the table with our order in hand, I was impatient for the food to arrive. So impatient that I decided to order some pastries from the counter for us to snack one while we waited.
After a very long time spent contemplating the many wonderful-looking options, I decided on a blueberry muffin and was offered half of a frosted cinnamon bun free of charge. The pastries absolutely hit the spot and were completely devoured in less than five minutes. Luckily, our food and coffee arrived soon after so we were not without sustenance for very long.
One thing I really like about Carriage House brunch is that the portions are not over-sized. You get a very reasonable amount of food and so do not feel so full after brunch that you cannot do any type of productive activity for the next couple of hours, as is the case at other brunch places. Furthermore, the size of the portion certainly does not take away from the flavor of the dish; my four small waffles melted in my mouth and were even more delicious when paired with the honey yogurt, syrup, and berry coulis. It was an amazing dish that I wish I could re-create in my own kitchen so I could have it every single day. My friends were also extremely pleased with their dishes. I tried a bite of the brioche French toast and was absolutely floored. It was the most decadent tasting French toast I had ever tasted—rich, buttery, and full of flavor; exactly what French toast should be. I promised myself I would order it or maybe even the Brie-stuffed brioche French toast during my next visit.
Leaving the Carriage House, I felt extremely satisfied and ready to take on the rest of the day. The great atmosphere, great food, and great company certainly brightened what would have been a very gloomy Sunday.