Monday, August 9, 2010

Frittata: I just paid $21 for a brunch with no booze.

Frittata in Clawson is cute. It's tiny and quaint and charming and cute, like rainbows and kittens and butterfly kisses. See, look:

^Cute, right? Totally. I thought so too. I saddled into my seat and promptly ordered a mimosa, it being the Lord's day and all -- "How about a virgin mimosa?" our server joked. Yikes...I'm not down with virgin anything, so how about you just bring me a coffee instead. (My friend: "You want to go to Black Lotus after this and get a beer?" Me: "Eat quickly.") After making amends with the idea of a mimosaless brunch, I began to study the menu -- true to its name, there's a whole lot of frittatas on the menu. What is a frittata? you may find yourself wondering. Let's pretend for one second we leave in a world without Wikipedia and allow me to tell you: it's like an omelette. Or a quiche. Or a strata. There's eggs. There's some other junk mixed in with the eggs, which can be cheese or vegetables or various pork products (and who doesn't like those? [vegetarians excluded]). Cooking preparations and primary ingredients differ slightly between these various items but ultimately they're all egg-based all-inclusive breakfast dishes, the morning equivalent of a casserole.

^Check out this lounge area, TOTALLY cute. I mean, just really precious and adorable. I want to pinch its cheeks it's so freakin' cute.

^And the stamped paper on the table!!! Cute, right? I mean, really. It's total puppies, which is a term I will now use to describe all things exceptionally cute much like "titties" is used to describe things that are awesome.

So getting back to the frittata. There are lots of options and they all sounded delish; I went with the day's special, the BLT frittata -- pancetta, asiago cheese, roma tomatoes, and a garlic aioli. The frittata itself is pan-fried then baked...and it is a whole lot of grease-soaked egg-loaf, lemme tell ya. This is how I discovered I am not a super-fan of frittatas. Not the fault of the restaurant, certainly not, no...but the fact that it cost $11 was.

I am not one to bitch about prices. There are times when I will be disinclined to visit certain establishments because of one too many pricey bar tabs piled up that month (I love being a beer snob but gone are the days of $2.00 22-oz. drafts), but I would certainly never complain about prices as much as probably remark when things are LESS expensive than I expected (but the whole fine dining concept has changed drastically in this Free Bailout Market we now live in and people are now looking more towards upscale casual, which ultimately has the exact same price points as the fine dining concepts from which it was born but it's just packaged differently so people perceive it as being less expensive, but that is a whole different rant entirely and it just ends with me swearing a lot so I'll spare you this time around).

A couple of years ago I wrote a rant about this whole thing which you can read here; I would write it differently now -- first I wouldn't make jokes about Obama-head-shaped burgers because that was immediately pre-election in the height of Obamamania but the fervor and my irritation at it has since died; second I would make it a point that sometimes it IS necessary to talk about price as a foodie-slash-food writer but only in the context of value; third I probably wouldn't use quite so many variations of the word "orgasm" because really, I'm more clever than that. And I would probably be a little less high-and-mighty about the whole thing because I used to think I was a lot more funny and important than I do now, or at least I thought it was a whole lot more funny to act that way. But the "dough-faced boorish troll of a woman" part would definitely stay. Regardless, the overarching point would be the same.

That being said I am now going to bitch about prices.

That toast you see about? Cherry walnut toast served with blueberry butter and a fruit compote (I forget what kind of fruit it was, my bad; I should really start writing shit down). $3.25. For some goddamn TOAST. I could buy the whole goddamn loaf for that much and still have enough leftover for the Sunday edition of the Free Press. I could've gone to goddamn Leo's Coney Island and got the $2.99 breakfast special which comes with eggs, choice of meat, hash browns AND toast and STILL had enough leftover for a pack of gum. Was the toast good? Sure it was good, but it was also $3.25 and did not come with a happy ending so really, how good could it have been? The next time some toast costs me that much money it better be lighting my cigarette and promising to call me afterwards.

I walked out of there having paid $21 for a glorified omelette and some goddamn toast. Oh, and coffee. Not fancy coffee. Straight 'Merican brew. $21 and no booze or beejers; frankly, "cute" only carries so much weight in my book. I'd rather have a killer gutbomb breakfast in a miserably podunk dive than be overcharged for some fluffy eggs and TOAST. (PS, my friend's orange juice was probably a 5-oz. glass and put her back $5. In real-life terms, that's a pint of Founders.) Given the right situation in the right surroundings with the right kind of ingredients I may have been able to justify the expense because I would have seen the value in it (for example, shave some truffles all over that bad boy and I would have been willing to skip eating for the rest of the week). This lacked the value to justify the expense, and I left feeling weighted down, unsatisfied, and unfortunately sober. Not unlike most first dates really, but that's another story entirely.