The holidays have been hectic for Tony and I. Family, gift-buying, and work have led to a retreat to comfort food. So, what better meal to run away to for some post-holiday, back-to-work prepping than Sunday brunch? Plus, after living in Raleigh for almost 2 and a half years, it was time to get myself a meal at the well-known Irregardless Cafe.
Irregardless has been around for over 30 years and got its start as a vegetarian-only place. To my disappointment, that’s not the case anymore. I love meat, bacon’s a hallowed treat in my opinion, but I also love finding great vegetarian restaurants.
I was also a little surprised that the clientele was, umm….a slightly more advanced age bracket than Tony and I. I looked around and found that we were not only the youngest people there, but the only ones enjoying a Sunday morning alcoholic beverage. I think our waiter took note of this when he asked if wanted tequila shots as well. At least, I thought he was joking, I hope I didn’t miss out on free shots. True, brunch is more family-oriented, but eating Tir Na Nog or Humble Pie on a Sunday morning never made me feel like a drunken whippersnapper. It didn’t help that compared to the tiny, elf-sized glasses of orange juice we were served, Tony’s bloody Mary looked like a chalice.
I reminded myself to focus on the food when our orders came out…a little too quickly for my comfort. I was excited though, the brie and asparagus omelet sounded amazing and I hoped that it would be a surprising and meat-free way to start the day. I came in with really high expectations, so it was inevitable that I’d be let down. I quickly realized there was no seasoning to my meal at all. Brie’s a pretty mild cheese, asparagus can be pretty unassuming as well. So, putting mild on top of mild and folded into eggs without the basics of salt and pepper just creates bland within bland. The oven-roasted potatoes that were served with them were tasty, but were coated in oil and turned just plain mushy.
Tony went with the Eggs Benedict and crab cakes. Taste-wise, he fared much better than me. The classic hollandaise sauce was nicely done and he liked the twist of adding freshly grilled crab cakes to the dish. One caveat, the serving was tiny, which may be a good thing for such a rich dish.
So, our trip to this legendary spot was slightly disappointing. We did get great service, but the food didn’t match the hype this place has. I’m willing to go back and try lunch or dinner though, hopefully my next meal there will match the high expectations I had.