Last Saturday Andrew and I headed out to the Brown Bag Café in Kirkland, our first venue for the Best Quest Brunch Challenge (read more about Best Quest). We found it on good ole’ Yelp, where it had a 4.5 star rating, which we figured was good enough to try!
So here is the category breakdown:
Quality of pancakes/french toast/waffles (and perhaps other breakfast foods that fit in this “sweet” category): Andrew and I both ordered the cinnamon roll french toast, which both sounded and looked delicious. Unfortunately, the taste didn’t quite live up. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. A little dry. We didn’t get a chance to try to pancakes or regular french toast, but they didn’t even have waffles…which is practically a deal-breaker for us since Belgian waffles are Andrew’s favorite brunch dish.
Quality of egg dishes: Andrew and I foolishly didn’t define the terms of our Best Quest until after ordering…so we had no egg dish! This is extra silly since we ordered the same thing, and there was certainly enough to share. The portions are HUGE! Anyways, we don’t have a review of the eggs 😦
Quality of breakfast meats (Andrew and I love us some bacon, so this will probably be based on the bacon. Sorry, sausage lovers!): The bacon was great! It was very thick and we both agreed it was perfectly cooked, which is extra amazing given that I usually like mine floppy and Andrew enjoys the crispier variety.
Quality of coffee (and other breakfast beverages): Andrew had the coffee and said it was very mediocre.
Quality of other sides (hashbrowns, toast, etc.): We shared a the side of the loaded hashbrowns (hashbrowns with cheddar cheese, bacon, and scallions)…which were to die for! They can be best described as a little hashbrown with your bacon and cheese. And they were hardly a side dish! We received a full heaping plate of the delicious dish, and we practically ignored our cinnamon roll french toast for them. Andrew and I agreed we would come back for the loaded hashbrowns alone.
Cost/value: The two brunch entrées, the “side” of hashbrowns, and coffee ended up costing us about $35. Generally brunch at these types of places cost us closer to $28, so it was a little more than expected…but negligible. Also, as previously mentioned, the portions were quite generous, and we easily could have shared which would provide more bang for our buck.
Atmosphere and service: We got there around 1:30pm, so we didn’t have to wait at all to get in. The restaurant has a country/picnic-y feel and is moderately sized. Our waitress was super friendly and attentive; we received great service.
The Bottom Line: ★★★☆☆
We give the Brown Bag Café 3 out of 5 stars, rating it around average. For a brunch spot to get higher than a 3 it must also have delicious sweet carb dishes, and this time Brown Bag struck out. The hashbrowns were great, but they were really the saving grace. We would still recommend you check it out for those, and let us know if you try the eggs!
Where else should we try for the Brunch Challenge?
Also read about our current Pizza Challenge!