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Friday, August 3, 2012

Brunch at Tavern

I decided to try brunch at Tavern, the M Street outpost that replaced the ill-fated Miami inspired joint Lime. I was hesitant to venture back in this building, as Lime was one of the first places I went when I moved to Nashville and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I went to have some post-class cocktails with friends and what I got was a middle aged meat-market. I wasn't looking for a sugar daddy and the calamari was dry, so Lime was off my list. I was actually happy when it closed. But Tavern surprised me, having a dark bar-like charm and none of the creepier Lime clientele. I had been here for drinks before, back when Steve was still DJing their Friday dance nights and I enjoyed myself. I've been eyeing the brunch menu for months, and with my parents in town for a visit this seemed like the perfect time to try it.

This menu makes me wish I was a cow with four stomachs. Everything sounds delicious to me and I wished that I had more than one place to put it. Red velvet waffle? Pretzel pancakes? Omelets with bacon and fried oysters? Of course, we couldn't really order it all, so I will have to come back to try more of the sweet "griddled" options.

Even better was the surprise happy hour. I ordered a Bellini sparkle, cava with peach nectar and orange juice and they brought me a second one. I liked the second one better because they had a heavier pour on the wine and you could really taste it.  It was a sweet, refreshing summer beverage and was a nice accompaniment to our meal.

My Mom, being the traditionalist ordered the regular eggs Benedict. She was pleased with her choice. The egg yolks were runny and the ham was thick and salty. Their regular hollandaise had a thick consistency, but with a smooth texture.

I ordered the less traditional Benedict, made with braised short ribs and Tabasco hollandaise. The short ribs were cooked nicely and they were fall-apart-in-your-mouth tender. My egg yolks were runny as well, which is essential to me enjoying any Benedict. If a river of yellow does not pour forth from your egg, it is not poached correctly. Hard yolks are a bummer, man. The Tabasco hollandaise had a good kick to it. I've never thought about adding anything to traditional hollandaise, as it's pretty much perfect as it is. But this convinced me otherwise- there are many delicious variations out there if I'm just willing to think outside the box.

My Dad is also somewhat of a traditionalist and went for the ham and cheese omelet. The cheese was brie and the ham was the same delicious ham from Mom's Benedict. The eggs were cooked to perfection, having a very fluffy texture, something I can't seem to do with my own omelet. The brie was the perfect melty temperature - creating strings to your fork.  But what I really liked was the side of "white trash hash." It was smashed potatoes with some pork-type bits and a nice salty spicy flavor. I really wished that a scoop of these came with the Benedict orders. Next time I will know to order it as a side.

Verdict- go here for brunch. The wait was a solid 30 minutes, but that's what the hostess told us. I appreciate accurate wait-time estimates. If we wanted to sit outside in 96 degree heat- we could have sat down immediately. The service was quick and friendly. The food was delicious and the other options warrant a second visit. 

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