Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cliff House ~ the Terrace Room

Sunday "Brunch"/Happy (Maine) Maple Syrup Day*!


Today's morning (stretching well into afternoon) meal was more about enjoying a good time with old friends than the eating per se (but the per se was pretty tasty and filling to boot). I had an actual "Brunch" (there is no other way to explain this meal as it was your traditional old-fashioned buffet-style "Sunday Champagne Brunch") today at the Terrace Room at Cliff House. Joining me (or should I say "footing the bill") were Harvey and Jamie (I have only known Harvey for 30+ years now and Jamie for about ten years) and Bob and Liz (them I haven't know for quite as long, only 24 years or so).

The buffet table was excellent, large, and copious, and had everything that meatatarians and vegetarians alike could enjoy, from thick slabs of poached salmon (with all the fixins: chopped red onions, cream cheese, a dill sauce, capers, and the requisite bagels to shmear it all on) to Mac & Cheese (but, believe me, this ain't your mother's yellow, faux cheesy sauce, crappy Kraft brand). There were at least two different fruit salads from which to choose (I skipped both; I can get fresh fruit anywhere) and several different brunchificated-style salads, too (these I did fill up my plate with, more than once).

In no particular order, I had:

  • Roasted cauliflower salad with Shiitake (2X helpings)
  • Asparagus (which were simply grilled and huge)
  • Orzo sun-dried tomatoes salad (there were other good things in it, but I really didn't take note of the rest of the ingredients)
  • 3-Beet salad (3 kinds o' roasted beetroots: yellow, pink, and red) with Goats cheese
  • Farfalle pasta salad with Arugula and Feta (and other good stuff that I again forgot to take note of)
  • Roasted garlic and onion salad
  • Some kinda apple(?) and cranberry, walnut salad thingy
  • Mac & cheese (made with Rotini pasta)
  • Scalloped potatoes (or au gratin? Who can tell the difference?) (2X helpings)
  • French toast with Maple Syrup (I had to celebrate the day with something that I could pour Maple Syrup on; however, it was from Vermont.)
  • And of course the famous Cliff House Popovers(!) (the infamous Cliff House Popovers really aren't anything much to speak of); there was no way I was eating at the Cliff House (free meal or not) without having some (2X helpings) of these favourites of mine.

To drink (and drink and drink):

  • Cuppa (bottomless) coffee
  • And lots and lots of free-flowing Champagne

And lastly for dessert (not that I really had much room left):

  • Pot de Crème**
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries

Now I could rate each item separately, but that would take too long and may cost many lives, so I will just say it was all very good, and I may not have to eat again… until later.

Just to let you get an idea of how "fancy" a place this actually was, they even had a lady sitting there playing what I guess must have been some kinda deconstructed piano. I think she probably learned the craft from some guy named Arthur Marx. (I felt sorry for her and threw in a couple of bucks in her tip jar so that she might be able to afford the rest of the frame to the piano.)

Thanks again, Harvey and Jamie! (This is yet another great meal on the long list of great meals I owe you.) And it was great to see Bob and Liz again, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: "Brunch" ~ 7.0; Popovers(!) ~ 8.2; Good Friends ~ 9.0

*(For some reason today is Maine Maple Syrup Day. There is also a National Maple Syrup Day that is celebrated on December 17th. I wonder if Vermont and Quebec also have their own separate Maple Syrup Days.)

**(I really had no idea what these were going to be, but they were excellent. I talked Liz into getting one, too. They were only a bite-sized dessert, anyway. They were served in these cute little, hollowed-out egg shells. This version was a butterscotch flavoured one.

Just for your edification ~ and mine:ème

Maybe these should have been called "Oeuf de Crème".)

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