Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sweet Brunch at Plums?

Plums Cafe 
369 E. 17th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

I admit it, I am a guy that likes brunch. Brunch to me usually means going to El Torito, the Hyatt Newporter, or some other restaurant, that serves unlimited champagne, has long tables of all you can eat food, and will result in a two hour nap. That is not the case at Plums in Costa Mesa. Here they have no buffet and the champagne sets you back $8 a glass. So this is a new kind of brunch for me, let's see how it turned out.

Plums has been open for over twenty years. Started as a catering business, their food quickly became a local favorite. Owner Kim Jorgenson, a native of the Northwest, settled in Costa Mesa and created a menu inspired by the cuisine of the Northwest. The wait on the Sunday we were here was 45 minutes long at 11. I figured all of these people must be on to something to wait this long, when there are plenty of restaurants nearby.  Let's hope the food is not as gloomy as a Seattle day.

Katie and I were both intrigued by the Banana Brulee Oatmeal, so we split it. The top layer of this was good, with the caramelized bananas. The oatmeal part of this was very plain, as any oatmeal will be. I would have liked this a lot more if the bananas were spread out evenly through the whole bowl, but I should have known what I was getting myself into when ordering this.

Believe it or not, Katie had never had Eggs Benedict before. So this would be her first foray into breakfast staple. She ordered the Santa Fe Eggs Benedict after reading all of the positive reviews on Yelp. This Benedict featured peppered ham, chipotle-cilantro hollandaise sauce, and poached eggs all served on a baguette. Katie said, "This has set the bar very high for all Benedict's that I will try in the future". I am not a big fan of this egg dish, but it was very good. I thought the chipotle hollandaise sauce could have been a little more flavorful, but overall this was a good dish.

I also went with an egg dish for my meal, the Dungeness Crab and Asparagus Omelet. This very fresh tasting omelet was filled with asparagus and crab. The crab was noticeable, but not very over powering. You could tell that it was good quality crab. The eggs seemed very buttery and full of flavor. I did not even miss the absence of cheese in this omelet. The Plums potatoes that were served with both of our plates were just okay, nothing spectacular.

Lastly, I wanted to show you the bread that came with my omelet. This Organic Nine Grain Toast was not too bad. I am usually pretty picky about such healthy sounding bread, but this had a good taste to it, and with jelly, this tasted even better.

Plums Cafe is a great, but simple breakfast spot. The food is definitely fresh and prepared well. I did not feel weighted down by the food I ate here. The prices might be a little on the high side. My omelet was $15, and Katie's Eggs Benedict was $14. This is not the type of place I would come every Sunday, but I do look forward to exploring their menu more. The service was professional and prompt, especially since they were so busy. We were seated on the patio in front of the restaurant, but it was very pleasant out there. Did Plums change my mind about what a great brunch is? Well, it definitely got me to think about it.

Out of five eye glasses, (because Eve Plumb played Jan Brady, who had to be reminded to wear her glasses. Yes, I know they are spelled differently, but I wanted to work a Brady Bunch reference into my blog sometime!), five being best to zero being worst, Plums gets 3 eye glasses.

For more information on Plums Cafe, click here:

Plums Cafe on Urbanspoon

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