The Slow and Savory Review
Brandy, in fact, is all for the artisan movement, so much so that she makes everything herself that is humanly possible. Toothpaste? Home made with baking soda, salt, and peppermint extract. Shampoo? Some essential oils, soap, and beer. Her candles are hand poured, her throws crocheted, her pillows embroidered, and even her furniture has been carefully hand crafted (from broken bits of other furniture. "Nothing can break because its already broken," as Brandy likes to say). So when Brandy got a tip from one of the darling chefs at ING that Lula Cafe was one of his favorite breakfast haunts because of their hand crafted goodness, she just had to check it out.
The menu did indeed boast many in-house made items, especially the side dishes like made-from-scratch varieties of sausages and jams. For a little snack before the main event, Brandy scanned the list of pastries (made fresh in house every day of course), which came in three varieties. First there was the Apple and Goat Cheddar Crostatta, a lovely little open faced tart filled with baked apples and topped with a fine shred of cheese. Brandy found the crust nice and flaky and the apples a little sweeter than anticipated, but nicely balanced by the mildly salty cheese. Next was the Chestnut and Chocolate Scone. Being an expert on scones, Brandy thought the texture had been nailed: crunchy and caramelized on the outside, soft, crumbly, and moist on the inside (so moist in fact that Brandy all but ignored the made in house butter that had been provided). The chocolate was a nice rich touch, not adding too much sweetness, but the chestnuts seemed to add an odd sort of brininess that wasn't entirely pleasant. Lastly was the Smoked Pecan Sticky Bun. Brandy just loved the smokey nuts that topped the rich caramel sauce and the buttery pastry, devouring the whole pastry before she even realized it.
Her main course consisted of the Tofu and Vegetable Scramble, here served with potatoes and sourdough toast (which Brandy suspected was also made in house). The potatoes, though very well seasoned with herbs, were a bit too oily for Brandy's taste (she usually prefers a crisper spud). The scramble (or stir-fry, which is more what it resembled) was coated in a rather tangy miso black sesame sauce that Brandy had thought at first glance was going to be spicy but really wasn't. Brandy did find the mix of vegetables fresh, crisp, and a good contrast to the soft tofu.
For such an artisan brunch a price of about $30 is pretty fair, and with excellent service from the flock of young and attentive waiters, Lula Cafe's reputation held up on that day. With a belly full of hand crafted goodness, Brandy set off for home to pour some bars of soap and finish knitting scarves for various Christmas presents.
The Short and Sweet Review