Honey Brunch Review
I love breakfast food. At breakfast or brunch (or even dinner time!), I can’t get enough of omelets, pancakes, prosciutto and melon, croissants, and especially French toast. It’s not always done right, but when it is, it can be my favorite meal.
Honey (http://HoneyNorthside.com/), located in the space originally inhabited by Boca, is a predominately dinner-centric restaurant in Northside. Additionally, Sunday brunch is served from 11-2. When you first walk in, you’ll notice it’s very open, with a large bar on the left right next to the door. While the openness does tend to make it a bit loud, it’s not overwhelming.
The first time I ate brunch at Honey, one item in particular caught my eye. Frangipane French toast, which is made with Shadeau Bakery’s batarde slathered with frangipane topped with rum-brown sugar apples, maple syrup, fig butter, strawberries, and blackberries. I don’t like to declare something to be the best ever, but this was maybe the best ever French toast I’ve ever had in my life. This has caused me to go back on several occasions (including attending after running races as a treat) and eat this amazing French toast. I’ve had French toast as often as I can eat it, in Cincinnati or wherever I’ve traveled, and have never had anything this amazing.
For brunch after the Flying Pig Half Marathon, my wife and I once again attended Honey. We arrived just after 11 when it opened. While it was slowly filling up, it was not as crowed as it was a couple of years ago before Over the Rhine got big (and now has a couple of options for brunch, including the excellent Taste of Belgium (http://wp.me/p3jVIR-22/)), but it shortly filled up and had a decent wait by 11:45. It was nice to see several tables with people that had obviously just finished the Pig. Some were wearing their finishing medals, and looked very proud to do so. To celebrate both doing well in the Flying Pig Half and my wife’s birthday, we started with drinks. My wife went with the Bloody Mary, and per the suggestion of our server I chose the Hinterland Saison Farmhouse Ale (from Green Bay, WI). The Bloody Mary had a pickle, two olives, celery, a lime, and smoked paprika lining the rim of the glass. It may have had too many dressings, though; as it seemed unfocused and my wife thought it was average at best. The smoked paprika added a nice flavor, however. My Saison was very good…a bit fruity without being overly sweet, with a light taste of yeast and low carbonation. It made for a very good choice for brunch time.
When it came time to order, I went with an order of the French toast (like there was ever a doubt) and my wife went with a half order of French toast and an omelet (caramelized fennel, diced mushrooms, spinach, and Swiss cheese) for us to share. The omelet is how omelets should be made. The egg was perfectly cooked, so delicate that it almost has layers. For lack of comparison, it’s layered almost like a good croissant. The outside is fully cooked but never burned, while the inside is slightly runny. The fennel, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese fill the omelet perfectly and compliment the consistency of the egg perfectly. The French toast, as I alluded to before, is simply amazing. The bread is a local sourced French bread that is thick yet perfectly soaked in syrup. Nowhere near soggy, yet perfectly softened so you can cut the bread with a fork. Yes, you can cut the French bread with a fork. Amazing. The apples are a fantastic version of sugar apples, and are a great topping. However, the unique addition that really elevates the flavor is the frangipane. The almond taste is never overpowering, yet strong enough to stand out. I love this dish…readers, you have to go to Honey as soon as possible and eat this. I can’t express that enough. Almost as impressive as the dish is that it’s so consistent. I’ve probably eaten the French toast a 10-12 times, and it’s been unbelievable every time.
Overall, the brunch at Honey is fantastic. The French toast is my favorite breakfast dish I’ve ever had, and the omelets are excellent. As I stated before, get to Honey as soon as you can and eat. You will love it.