January 20, 2008

Cricket Cafe (3159 SE Belmont)

add to kirtsy

I stayed out late on Friday. Late enough that my legs were laborious to move by the time I was on my way home. When I finally crawled into bed at 2am, I was heavy with anticipation of sleep. So I was really, really annoyed when I woke up at 7:30am. I tried to go back to sleep. But my eyes were burning because they needed sleep and burning so much that it was keeping me awake. Around 8:00, my back started hurting. Damn firm mattress. Fine. Fine. The universe wanted me awake.

When I can’t sleep on Saturday mornings, there’s only one thing I do. I watch the Food Network. After the Barefoot Contessa and a little Bobby Flay, I was hungry. A conversation with my roommate Kristin about cooking and food led us to believe that we should be brave and face the world. Out in the cold. To get some good breakfast. Where to go?

Cricket Cafe. Hmmmm. Belmont. Saturday. Not too crowded. The customers were not limited to one stereotypical group – not hipsters, not yuppies, just people who wanted to eat breakfast. We sat in the back room, which was quieter than the front. The menu looked fantastic. I wanted something sweet and savory. I have always liked the sickeningly sweet pancakes with syrup, but always need a little egg or sausage to mellow it out.

I ordered the Saint Hash with Cajun potatoes, red peppers, onions, housemade pork sausage, two eggs over the top and covered in hollandaise sauce. I substituted a piece of toast with a big fat pancake.
The waitress brought me a tall glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. I am picky about my grapefruit juice. I hate the grapefruit juice “cocktail” that you buy in the grocery store. Red Ruby? Sugar water. Hate it. But this glass, similar to the juice at Bread and Ink Cafe, was filled with fresh, unsweetened, lip puckeringly tangy grapefruit juice.

The servings were quite large. The Cajun potatoes were very spicy and would have been too spicy for me had it not been for the lemony hollandaise sauce and egg yolks that spilled over the hash like a cool bath over a sunburn. The pancake was crispy around the edges and fluffy in the middle. It perfectly soaked up the melted butter and syrup to reward me with a mouth full of salty sweetness.

Kristin ordered the special scramble, with mozzarella, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and sausage, served with a biscuit. It looked really tasty, but I was so infatuated with my hash that I forgot to even taste my friend’s food. Bad restaurant reviewer.

The guy in the corner behind us was chilling out after his breakfast. Reading the paper, drinking his coffee by himself. A scene that was replicated in a few different parts of the cafe. I like that. A place where people feel comfortable enough to enjoy their breakfast, their paper and their coffee. Alone, or with friends.

The service was not too slow and was unintrusive. Laid back. Saturday. Morning. Breakfast. We stumbled back to the car, our legs maybe a little wobbly from the massive dose of carbs and fat we had just taken in. Upon our arrival home, I fell into bed and slept for 4 hours. Sigh. That was exactly what I wanted.

Cricket Cafe on Urbanspoon