I love the idea of brunch. The reality of it? A bit less so. It’s the meal that cannot make up its mind, lunch or breakfast? Sweet or savory? A dilemma that is all the more fraught when you find yourself at a popular restaurant, deciding which entree would better play to their strengths. I prefer breakfast and lunch, thank you very much.
When I went to Bordeaux Quay, however, I felt as if I got the ideal breakfast-y/brunch situation. A table to sit at and read for a long time? Yes, score one for brunch. A simple menu featuring only breakfast-type foods? Yes, score one for breakfast. It was a Saturday breakfast, served for only a couple of hours between nine and eleven.
Part of the appeal of Bordeaux Quay, besides their reputation as being a fantastic restaurant in Bristol, is their harbourside location. The brasserie (the section of the restaurant in which they serve breakfast) has large windows that look out onto the river. Despite not being the most picturesque river, it’s lovely to be able to look at the water with natural light streaming in. They also have plenty of tables set up for outside dining, which I am sure is fantastic when the weather is warm.
You know, for the one day it happens in a British (not to mention, West Country) summer? Yeah, I bet you cannot get a seat that day.
Anyway, onto the food.
Well, I had high hopes for this one, I will admit. Afterall, they have a brilliant reputation! A cookery school on premises! Surely they would be able to serve me the buttery laminated dough of my dreams?
The moment it arrived I could tell the I would be sorely disappointed. It look thick, tough, bread-y. Not to mention, the out-side didn’t look as if it was going to flake off into a million crispy shards as my perfect croissant would. I was nervous. I ripped off the end, and before I even took a bite, my fears were confirmed that this was the arche-typical bread-like English croissant.
Now in Baking With Julia, it is mentioned that the croissants we have become accustomed to are more like a full-blown dessert extravaganza as opposed to the bread-like item the French eat. While I could go with that interpretation, I’m going to propose another way of looking at the English croissant.
In terms of nutrition regarding the role of fats in our diets, the British are still living in the 1980s. All you need to do is see the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Light add to understand (which by the way, makes me want to vomit every single time. Chicken and peppers cooked in cream cheese!? I’d rather eat whatever they’re going to serve me on the airplane).
It’s not that they don’t like them, it’s just that they still view fats as the evil that will make you fat. A housemate (don’t trust these people for their intelligence, this is simply an example an intelligence outlier) once commented on my method of roasting a sweet potato that it was quite healthy before I put some olive oil on it.
The sweet potato that needs a fat source in order to absorb the maximum nutrients into the body mind you.
Anyway, the English croissant is simply a different species from the American croissant and even from the New York croissant. None of them are the French croissant and when we make our own croissant, well, that’s yet another genre.
But I would at least like my English croissant to smell of butter.
Do you like brunch? Savory or sweet?