Not knowing what to expect at Brunch at Sarah's, just the name itself caused me to conjure ideas of what it might be: a small establishment with a delicate and feminine touch or a quaint place with a cottage look. Brunch at Sarah's, rather, turned out to be a very casual, simple, diner-like restaurant nestled in a strip center at 81st and Yale.
Walking in on a late Sunday morning, we were the only ones to occupy a table in the small dining area which would fit around 50. Soon, though, quite a number of people flooded in for brunch. Simple café-like tables and chairs, little atmospheric details, a little kitchen area and a storage room define Bruch at Sarah's. Quite simply, it is a functionally casual place for dining.
Once seated, we were warmly greeted by a young fellow, who took our drink order. Coffee for both, we said. He soon returned with two topped-off mugs of welcomed hot java, leaving a spilled trail of coffee on the table as he delivered the mugs.
We studied the menu, and most offerings are in the breakfast, sandwich and salad categories. Eggs and omelets and breakfast specials seem to be the featured act here. Traditional egg breakfasts are served with rosemary home fries with a choice of toast and jelly, or biscuits and gravy. Breakfast Specials include such meals as Corned Beef Hash ($8.99), Country Breakfast ($8.99) and the Breakfast Sandwich ($5.99). Pancakes (Cranberry Nut, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Banana Nut, Butter Scotch) and waffles are also featured.
Soups and salads, sandwiches, hot or cold, and wraps and burgers are options. The Cranberry Orange Club ($7.99) and Washington Apple Salad caught my eye: the Club has smoked ham and turkey, cheddar and Swiss cheeses, hickory-smoked bacon, cranberry orange sauce, spinach, red onion and tomato; the Salad is made with mixed greens, red onion, feta cheese, a touch of oregano, dried cranberries, Washington apples, candied walnuts and topped with the house balsamic vinaigrette.
A few other details about the menu include that Havarti cheese (a semi-soft, creamy cheese) seems to be a favorite here; it is used with many sandwich selections. A slight hint of a Middle Eastern touch is present as homemade hummus, feta cheese and cucumbers are added to some sandwiches. The menu states that Brunch at Sarah's uses Farrell Natural Breads, which is conveniently located right next door to Sarah's.
My friend and I were interested in breakfast this morning, so I selected the Waffle Platter ($7.99) while my friend chose the Corned Beef Hash ($8.99).
The Waffle Platter consisted of two eggs, a choice of three slices of bacon or two sausage patties, and rosemary potatoes. The Belgian waffle was delightful. It was golden brown, crisp on the edges and light; I slathered butter and poured warmed maple syrup into the deep pockets of the waffle's grid pattern. This waffle was a welcome boost of carbs for this cool winter morning.
The eggs, potatoes and bacon crowded my second breakfast plate. I asked the two eggs be cooked over easy -- fried on both sides and the yolk stays runny. The eggs were almost cooked to order -- they were just a little too done, the edges were crispy and it was more on the "over medium" rather than "easy" side where the yolk is runnier. The red potatoes were flavorful, with a spud-coating sprinkle of paprika, giving them a reddish hue, and the fragrant rosemary needle-like leaves added another dimension of flavor. The only drawback on the potatoes is that they were undercooked for our liking: too hard and only slightly warm.
My friend's Corned Beef was a significant mound of very thinly sliced corned beef chopped to bite-sized pieces, mixed well with chopped tomatoes, green bell pepper, red onion and red potatoes. All was sautéed together, producing a slightly sweet taste. Again, while flavorful, the potatoes were undercooked for my friend's liking. This Breakfast Special came with two eggs and a choice of toast and jelly or biscuits and gravy. Like the eggs I was served, my friend's over easy eggs were also overcooked; and the biscuits and gravy were good. The gravy was of the packaged sort -- not homemade. The biscuit was fresh and light, and the middle was soft and airy -- nice to dip into the white gravy.
Lunch at Sarah's includes a fine array of hot and cold sandwiches and burgers. Many can be ordered hot or cold, such as the Ham and Swiss and the Turkey and Cheddar, both for $7.99. Hot sandwiches include Reuben, the Philly, Grilled Chicken and Hamburger Steak -- all are also $7.99. Choice of bread for these sandwiches includes sour dough, whole wheat or marbled rye -- all freshly made by Farrell Natural Breads.
Our service was fair. The young person waiting on us became busy covering other tables as business picked up.
Curious to know who "Sarah" is, Brunch at Sarah's manager, Eva Rajab, said that the name is "just a name" -- it's as simple as that, I suppose. The restaurant has been in business three years now, she said, and when asked what are some of the favorite items on the menu, Rajab answered, "everything."
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