Philly is home to many BYOs. Better yet, Philly's home to many great BYOs that serve brunch. Mimosas and bellinis anyone? So in the spirit of a brunch BYO, the GF and I recently met up with some friends at Green Eggs Cafe before catching a Sunday matinee.
Green Eggs Cafe has three locations, but the one we ventured out to was on Restaurant Row, along 13th Street. You won't see a huge sign, but just look toward the huge crowd of people staring at the nondescript door, hoping for their party's name is going to be called.
There's actually a surprising amount of space inside.
Still, put your name down and wait outside, lest the delicious smells inside render the wait interminable.
Orange Juice ($15)
Our friends brought graciously brought some champagne. So the GF and I ordered a carafe of OJ for our mimosas. It wasn't advertised as being fresh-squeezed so I was a bit taken aback by the 500-600% markup, which is saying something since the cost is a pittance compared to what I'm willing to spend as a supposed foodie. I suppose it's one way to pad the bill since there is no alcohol markup. Regardless, after a few glasses, I completely forgot about this and became immersed in the delicious food that came out of the kitchen.
Maple roasted pork belly and two poached country eggs on toasted brioche with rosemary-maple cream and pickled red onion
Obviously, when there's pork belly on the menu, I will order it. But when we're talking about maple roasted pork belly paired with eggs benedict, I'm all over it like a fat kid on cake. The sweetness of the maple melded beautifully with the umami of the pork belly, crisp on the outside and succulent inside. The eggs benedict were atop buttery brioche and a sweet hollandaise coated it all. The pickled onions helped to cut through the savoriness of the pork and the runny egg yolk brought this dish over the top.
Here's a close-up of one of those bad boys.
Red Velvet buttermilk pancakes with chocolate morsels layered with strawberry mascarpone and topped with fresh strawberries, maple syrup and chantilly cream
Stuffed French Toast at Sabrina's ... say hello to Green Eggs Cafe's Red Velvet Pancakes. These mammoth slabs of fluffy Red Velvet pancakes were immersed with folds of cream cheese, strawberries, and sweet maple syrup. This is over the top, so be prepared for a sugar rush, followed by a sugar-induced coma.
Pro-tip: If everyone at your table orders an entree, you can order a smaller 'kid's' order of this dish.
Chicken & Waffles Benedict ($11)
Southern fried chicken breast and poached country eggs on buttermilk waffles with sage maple and Louisana Hot Sauce hollandaise
Just like you can never go wrong with pork belly, you can't go wrong with chicken and waffles. Salty and savory paired with sweet? An explosion for your taste buds. Fluffy waffles with the crispy skin of the chicken? Textural contrast for your mouth. The creamy hollandaise and the runny eggs help to bring extra umami to the dish.
Habañero tortilla with eggs, corn, house made pork chorizo, potatoes, peppers, and onions, tex mex cheese topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado, whole black beans, and fire roasted red pepper black bean sauce
The GF went with the breakfast burrito, which was a great iteration of the dish. A mix of scrambled eggs, corn, potatoes, peppers, onions, and chorizo help to make this hearty and delicious. It was all topped by creamy black beans, which could easily be the foundation for a great black bean soup. All topped with fresh avocado, I had no problems finishing off most of this for the
GF when she said no mas.
Of course, I couldn't help but order the chorizo side. This was smoky and slightly spicy - a perfect amount of grease for a Sunday morning.
Other than issues with the mixer mark-up and the fact that Green Eggs Cafe charges a quarter for their to-go boxes (c'mon - that's an innate cost of customer service, no?), Green Eggs is definitely one of my favorite places to go for brunch. To put it simply, I think of it as a slightly elevated Sabrina's. This isn't to discount Sabrina's since they offer delicious and affordable dishes that put a smile on my face and an extra notch in my belt every time. But Green Eggs offers creative dishes that are well-composed, yet homey.