I always feel a little out of place at brunch, if only because it's a ritual I rarely indulge in. But when our plates hit the table at Meddlesome Moth recently, I felt downright awkward. Heavy, meaty breakfast dishes surrounded me, including a short rib hash just down the table and a hunk of fried chicken with jiggling poached eggs dead ahead.
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There was a burger within eyesight -- a massive, cheese-draped patty on a bun the size of a saucer. I, for once, had attempted to take the higher road. I'd ordered the porridge and my bowl landed like a screeching record. "You got what?" several of my brunch brethren asked. I felt like I'd pegged my jeans in the wrong decade.
I'd had a burger recently. I'd also had pasta covered with butter and topped with bacon and I'd had pig's feet, chicken feet and liver pate. I was suffering from animal-parts fatigue. My liver needed a break, and porridge was the best option on the menu. I added a side of bacon, just to fit in.
I was hoping for something edible and at least partly healthy, but what I got was way better than your standard bowl of gruel. Farro, rice and quinoa were added to the mix, lending a multigrain appeal, and the porridge had the consistency of soft pudding. There were bits of dried cherries and pecans artfully strewn about, and the surface was lightly dusted with a layer of brown sugar that had melted to a sheen.
I asked how it was made and was told that both milk and heavy cream were in the fold, and as I chomped on another piece of bacon I conceded that my breakfast was not quite as healthy as I'd hoped. Delicious, warming meals are rarely wholesome, but as I looked around at plates painted with broken egg yolks and burger juices I couldn't help but think that I'd won brunch.