Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sugar ‘n’ Spice & Annabel’s: Two Breakfast/Lunch Gems

There is usually a wait at these two restaurants, 
but they’re worth it

Retro Murals at Sugar n' Spice
     Sugar ‘n’ Spice is a beloved institution on Reading Road with a well-sized parking area, which it needs because it’s popular.  Be advised that there’s always a wait on weekends, though turnover is quick.  It’s been recognized over the years
for its service as well as its commitment to the local communities surrounding it.  There are always regulars and first time patrons and it’s a diverse, upbeat clientele.  We’ve visited a number of times over the years and usually take friends or family with us as well.  Everyone has always liked it. 

Chocolate Chip Wispy Thin Pancakes
Popeye Omelette
     It’s an extensive menu and everything we’ve had is good, but the standouts are the Wispy Pancakes (almost crêpe-like in their lightness) and the Fluffy Omelettes (those eggs must be whipped until they froth for that size).  The Popeye Omelette (spinach and mozzarella cheese) is one of the best breakfast dishes in the region.

Sweet Potato Waffle
The Sweet Potato Waffle is sweet and spicy with a note of cinnamon.  The Goetta is cooked perfectly with a crispy surface, but moist on the inside and this isn’t easy to do.  I’ve had it overcooked to crunchy at Mokka and I’ve undercooked it at home a couple of times leaving it soggy.  One thoughtful touch is serving the whipped butter separately.  The National Exemplar and First Watch usually serve it on the pancakes or waffle, which annoys me.

Breakfast Platter
     The coffee is strong, the waitresses are pleasant and efficient, and the current owner has spruced up the place without changing its architecture or ambiance.  The wall murals add a touch of retro delight. It's kid friendly with the
Passing Out Rubber Duckies
owner passing out one of his rubber duckies in his collection to the small fries in the crowd.  One thing to keep in mind is that once you’ve received your bill, you need to keep moving because there will be other hopeful patrons waiting.

Sugar n' Spice on Urbanspoon

NIce collection, but what about some rubber kitties?

The Dessert Selection at
Annabel's on
Mt. Lookout Square
     Annabel’s is a twenty-four-seat pocket restaurant in smart Mt. Lookout Square where it can be difficult to secure a table.  It’s also difficult to park free without a long walk.  We’ve actually been there on a number of occasions and decided to leave because there is no waiting area or it was closed for vacation.  We were able to eat there this past week and it was worth it.  The crowd was very Eastside, i.e. ladies who lunch, tech hipsters, and exotic dieters.

Contemporary Dining Space
Eggs of the House
     Our server was bubbly, attentive, and recommended well.  Since it was our first time, she pointed out the breakfast items and we both chose the Eggs of the House, which was a slice of grilled cheese grits, puréed black beans, fresh salsa, and two fried eggs topped with sour cream.  The grits were smooth and delicate (almost like polenta) and the over easy eggs were cooked perfectly.  The coffee was also good and strong and our server refilled it a number of times.  Appropriately, there are a number of items for vegetarians and vegans.

French Lemon Meringue Tart
We shared a piece of the French Lemon MeringueTart and it was terrific.  The meringue was firm on the surface yet tender and the crust had a lovely texture, like a cross between a cookie crust and a traditional one.  The menu is cutting edge for both breakfast and lunch and the spare interior with interesting art is in concert with the food.  (The similar art does not work in the gloomy Nectar next door).  The price doesn’t seem high when considering the local ingredients, conceptual detail in the dishes, and the portion size.  We’ll certainly return if we can get in.

Annabel's on Urbanspoon


Eve Center said...

I love brunch, but have never been here. Would you highly recommend it?

Dexter said...

Definitely! Both are one-of-a-kind in the city. Hope you agree.