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Half & Half – Let’s all just calm down now

August 21, 2013

Ah, Half & Half.  Beloved by so many.  Hailed as a brunch to end all brunches.  Offering a late morning repast beyond compare.  To all this I say, sure.  It’s pretty good.  Is it wait-an-hour-and-a-half good?  Perhaps for a first time visit, yes.  Why not.  For every succeeding visit.  No.  No thank you.

There is a reason why people wait though.  Half & Half does have some compelling strong suits.  Mike Randolph, as is reputed, ain’t messing around.  After all, Half & Half is a major financial motor behind his growing empire.  The staff are friendly to a fault–skilled in managing herds of stroller toting yuppies.  The menu is creative without getting too cute.  Oh, and they have these:

IMG_3073

FRIED PICKLE ON MY BLOODY MARY.  WHAT.  I LOVE YOU FRIED PICKLE BLOODY MARY.   So much salty, restorative goodness.  Enough said about that.  Get you some.

I think that while I appreciate Half & Half, I remain ambivalent because of my rather provincial tastes when it comes to breakfast.  I do have a sweet tooth supreme.  But, in the morning, what I really crave is some melange of savory items with a top-off of syrup.  And there are simply fewer savory options from which to select that fit in that category.  Because if you aren’t going to get one of of the more composed, specialized breakfast dishes, it has to occur to you, “wow, I just waited an hour and a half for two eggs, potatoes and toast” (the eponymous ‘half and half’ breakfast option).  And, I can’t say I’m totally down with the heavy brussel sprout representation.  A  hash nearly always satisfies my breakfast needs, yet Half & Half nearly always puts brussel sprouts in their hashes.  Meh.   However, I do love love love the cornbread and chorizo with two eggs–officially my go-to Half & Half meal.  Or, pro-tip, if I’m not dining in, I’ll call ahead for a tasty ham biscuit (complete with preserves) to go.  Then, ham biscuit and I walk to nearby Shaw Park.

So, returning to the wait-time investment vs. relative reward issue.  There is a solution, and it has to do with the early bird getting the worm.  I reside conveniently close to the establishment.  Meaning, if I am of a mind to venture to Half & Half for a soporofic amount of breakfast food, then I walk myself there the moment I wake up…but only if I start that process well before 9am.  Because what am I not doing with my weekend morning?  I am not waiting over an hour for eggs, cured meats, and syrup.  Thirty minutes–tops.   Yes, this timing restriction means I often have to forego a bloody mary crowned with a fried pickle.  Yet, there’s always the Crow’s Nest’s quiet-bordering-on surly metal brunch, which is probably where my malcontent self belongs anyways.
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