Friday, June 29, 2012

Longman and Eagle or Wake Me when its Brunchtime

The Slow and Savory Review

"Where am I?" is never the first thing one wants to think upon awakening, but that was exactly Brandy's first thought when she opened her eyes and found herself in a room that was not hers.  After locating her spectacles under the bed upon which she slept, she was able to examine her surroundings properly.  Rustic brick wall.  Rustic headboard.  Rustic table and chair.  "Must be in a farm house," she thought, "Well, that must have been one hell of a Pride party last night."  But upon approaching the window, she found herself to be looking out upon a bustling city street.  Just making out a Blue Line station across the way, she had the sudden realization that she was in Logan Square. 

Soon, Brandy was lured from her room by a delicious smell, which turned out to be emanating from the attached gastro-pub called Longman and Eagle.  Looking around the homey, yet rustic room, Brandy spotted Biscuit Brown seated at the bar.  "What are you doing here?" she asked Biscuit, taking the bar stool beside her.  "You told me to meet you here for brunch, of course," Biscuit said, a little puzzled.  She then produced her phone, on which was a rather poorly typed message from Brandy, giving the name and address of the restaurant they were currently seated in.  "Oh," Brandy said in surprise, "Well then, let's get a table."  "Our name is on the list.  The lovely gal up front said there were six parties in front of us."  "Well, lets get some hair of the dog then," Brandy said, snatching up the brunch cocktail menu.

Brandy chose a delightful sounding concoction made with Gin and lime called The Violet Buck.  It turned out to be rather refreshing and bubbly, just the thing to bring Brandy back into her regular consciousness.  Biscuit ordered a glass of Weekend Punch (which apparently had an ever changing recipe.  This day, it happened to be leaning towards Caribbean flavors) which was lovely and tropical with an almost savory taste to it, due to the addition of some bitters.  "No garnishes," Brandy remarked, "Odd to see such elaborate cocktails with not so much as a twist of lime peel or a sugared rim."

Chatting with the bartenders brought about the realization that Longman and Eagle wasn't just a gastro-pub, but did in fact have rooms for rent, like the inns of old.  This information comforted Brandy, as she had been worried her night was spent in someone's bed she did not know.  "Haven't done that since my fifties," she whispered to Biscuit.

A short wait later and they were escorted to a table in the back room of the restaurant, which while a bit darker, still held the same rustic charm.  Another round of drinks was ordered with Brandy sampling a drink entitled Daisy if you Do and Biscuit getting a Bloody Lawrence (or Larry for short).  Brandy didn't much care for the Daisy if you Do, which tasted mostly of strong alcohol, but with a soft strawberry finish, but the Bloody Lawrence seemed to be a revelation to Biscuit.  Though looking like a traditional Bloody Mary, the Bloody Lawrence actually replaced the vodka with whiskey and added a beer back.  It was love at first sip for Biscuit.  "I feel like this is how a Bloody Mary should always be," she said in awe, her eyes wide.

Brandy, still feeling a tad groggy, decided she needed more refreshment to start the meal with and ordered a bowl of Chilled Asparagus Soup.  The bowl was beautifully presented with swirls of creme fraiche, scattered mushrooms, and a delicately poached egg in the middle.  The soup was like liquid velvet, with a brilliant roasted garlic flavor.  The mushrooms made for a nice chewy element, and the slightest little hint of truffle oil mixed with the silky, tangy creme fraiche was the perfect amount of gilding on the lily.  Brandy could have done without the egg, but it did help to lend a little richness to the soup.

Biscuit sided with her Southern roots and went for a plate of Biscuits and Gravy with a side of Cheese Grits.  The grits were a bit of a disappointment to her, in that, while very creamy, they weren't exactly cheesy.  The biscuits, although plated a little sloppily, were soft and doughy and scrumptious.  The creamy sausage gravy had a very interesting sweetness to it, which mixed rather well with the spicy meat.

Brandy chose the Peeking Toe Crab Benedict for her entree.  The eggs were poached ever so softly, almost too softly, as she found the whites to still have a bit too much jiggle to them.  The base of the Benedict was the same house made biscuits as Biscuit's biscuits, which were soft and supple.  The crab was nicely sweet without any sort of fishy taste.  Brandy did wish for a little difference in texture, as the soft eggs, soft crab, and soft biscuits all started to blend together.  "Some little bacon lardons would be lovely in this," she said.  The overall softness of the dish also made the two tiny crunches (she couldn't tell if it was from a tiny bit of crab shell, or a tiny bit of egg shell) she experienced all the more noticeable.  On the side, Brandy had chosen some house potatoes, which proved to be rather delicious with crunchy outsides, creamy insides, and a perfect amount of savory flavor.

"I must say, of all the places to wake up in, this one was a rather good one," Brandy said, patting her stomach, "Good food, good service, comfortable atmosphere... couldn't ask for more, really."  Even the bill didn't seem to be oppressive, coming in at just about $25 a person.  In fact, Brandy so enjoyed her experience at Longman and Eagle that she was soon inquiring about the weekly and monthly rates for rooms.

The Short and Sweet Review

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