Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sophia's Brunch

If you ask many--if not most--people what their favorite brunch venue is in Madison, they'll say Sophia's, on E. Johnson. Despite some rigmarole a person has to endure when eating there (the restaurant is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, and some menu items such as the fresh fruit run out later in the day; cramped interior; often little seating room; sharing table space with strangers; having to wait twice in line, once to order and once to pay; having to worm through crowded tables in order to put dishes away after eating), Sophia's food is often considered the most delicious, consistent, and fresh.

I almost always order the egg and cheese croissant, the bed egg sandwich in Madison and probably the best one I've ever eaten.

I love that it comes not with potatoes (which you can also order), but fruit, which is always fresh. I love that Sophia presents not only the usual, cheap, expected honeydew and cantaloupe, but also strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, and whatever else is in season or available.

Although the specials (including omelets with ingredients such as butternut squash, caramelized onions, and asiago, as you see listed on the chalkboard menu above) often tempt me, I rarely vary from the egg and cheese. My friend Molly, however, ordered the black bean tacos, which were stellar.

I encountered one major disappointment when Molly and I ate at Sophia's this time. My New Year's resolution is to only eat humanely-procured, environmentally responsible meat (i.e., organic/grass-fed/local). So I asked the staff if the bacon is local, completely expecting a "yes." Instead, I learned that Sophia's uses factory farm bacon, a strange choice, I think, considering her clientele and its availability in Madison. I'd pay more for this, Sophia!

Sophia's makes some of the best baked goods in Madison, so if you have room left over after eating, definitely order something from the bakery case.

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