Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eaiting Out from Behind

Many apologies dear readers for the belated follow up post. I figure I had best finish up the weekend review with the Sunday post before the next weekend is already here! So we left off at Saturday night, after I had been hustled into the waiting limo by my security team. Wait…that never happened. I think it was actually my girlfriend telling my drunk behind to get the hell in the car. Yea, that makes more sense.

Which brings me to Sunday! You know, art is a wonderful thing. It gives you a wonderful rush as you experience it. But a little known fact is that art also has one hell of a hangover. Combine that with the regular boozy hangover and Sunday morning is not my friend. Grub is definitely in order if we’re going to make it through the day. And drinks of course.

And then I’m told that Livingstone’s serves breakfast. WHAT?? I’ve been getting face-down there for over a decade and a half! I didn’t even know that they were open before noon. Stone’s it is then! Lead on, my magical breakfast leprechauns!

We settle in to grab a spot out on the patio and discover that our server from yesterday is again, ready, willing and waiting…on us again. Hooray! Nothing like not having to explain why everyone in your breakfast party is a board certified weirdo. So we tuck into our menus, booze is ordered and we get to make the hard decisions.

Overall it’s a pretty decent breakfasty-brunchy kind of menu. And then I see it. Dare I? I mean, after the last time I did this in Tower I was afraid that I’d be assassinated and dumped into the waste oil dumpster behind the Peach Pit. But no. I must do this. For me, for you, for America! I’m ordering their eggs benedict.

They’re pretty busy, but our food comes out before the ice in my screwdriver has much of a chance to melt. So here is my moment of truth. They look pretty good. A tablemate comments that their hollandaise appears to be bottled, but I’m not 100% sure and forgot to ask. It’s got a little pepper and what appears to be fresh parsley in it. That sorta breaks the absolute artistry of the plate, but hardly a reason to be upset. A little poke at the eggs reveals that someone in the kitchen has actually learned how to poach something! They’re a little overdone for my taste, but again, no reason for me to cry. Underneath, there is a decent slice of canukian back bacon. It’s ok, mildly smoky and has that slight nitrate tang that comes with wet packed pork. The muffin base is again, decently good. Thick and sturdy enough to hold up through the meal. It didn’t bring much taste to the dish, but it didn’t take away from it either.

In general it was a happy medium between the perfection I experienced at Gilly’s and the culinary insult that I had at Irene’s. This is what I expect from a restaurant that serves eggs benedict but doesn’t call them a specialty. It was tasty, well cooked and priced in the same arena as their other breakfast plates. I don’t know if I would outright recommend the dish to a fellow fast-breaker, but I certainly wouldn’t try to wave anyone off of it.

Also, as a pre-PS. Mrs. Eating Out Fresno wanted to jump in here with her opinion of The Works omlette with Stone’s country potatoes. She was quite pleased with her kitchen sink in an egg blanket. It was bursting at the seams with…well, everything! Looked to be spinach, avocado, mushrooms, red bell peppers and I’d guess some sausage. Hard to tell with that riot of color popping out from the egg. But she felt that the real star was her country potatoes. Personally, I flipping despise onions. I consider them a culinarily vulgar ingredient. That said though, I must admit these were some of the most beautiful country potatoes I’ve ever seen. The potatoes are crispy and nicely browned, while the peppers and onions aren’t mushy and overcooked. But the flavors are nicely mixed in the potatoes, so it’s not that they cook them separately and mix before plating. I can only guess that the potatoes are par cooked then the remaining veg is added and fried together. I might hate ‘em, but I’m sure you’ll love them.

So as we close the door on last weekend and are looking for the keys to open up the next one, I’ve come to one strong conclusion. There is a good reason that Livingstone’s is one of the only eateries in the Tower district that has survived the test of time and still resembles itself. They’re consistent, they’re kind and they love their customers. Whether you’re there for a nice dinner or just stopping in to wet your whistle, Stone’s is there for you. And I’m overjoyed about that.


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