Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Winchester - Brunch

The saying goes that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.  To paraphrase, you shouldn't judge a restaurant by it's outward appearance.  I went to The Winchester for brunch recently and with the exception of the unusual sign (It's stenciled in blue on a off-white painted brick wall and overlaps to make 4 rows), it looks pretty plain.  It is a square brick building painted off-white.  It has a nice patio off to the side under some trees, but it is not really obvious.  The interior continues the plain look with more brick walls painted white.  The dining area is divided into two rooms with the coffee bar on the left with several wall mounted high tops with light wood for the table and the bar stool seating.  The main dining area (again more white brick and light wood furniture has a few paintings on the wall and curtained windows.  There is a large communal table in the center of the room with tables for smaller parties around the room.  We were a party smaller than 12 and were seated in one corner of the main dining area.  The menu was not huge with everything on one page and while I will generally get something sweet to share with the table, there really wasn't anything that fit that bill.  While the menu was small though, there were some gems on the menu.  I started out with a side of Bacon which was thick, crisp, chewy, sweet, and brought a smile to my face.
My main course did not precisely fit the definition of American unless you define it as a mixture of things from all over the world, none of which are precisely classic ethnic dishes.  I had Fried Black Rice with Butternut Squash, Coconut Curry, Peanuts, and a Fried Egg.  I have noticed that when I go out for brunch, I will frequently have a hash of some sort.  While I didn't think about it when I ordered it, this was also a hash.  It didn't have the meat that a hash generally does, but it did have pan fried starch (rice and squash) with protein (peanuts) and the egg.  It was crisp and savory with a lot of flavor and a little spice.  It was really good and has taken its place among my favorite dishes.

I really liked brunch here.  The staff was friendly and the food was very good, I would easily recommend it to friends, warning them not to be put off by the plain appearance.   

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