This morning, after we dropped the crew off at Hebrew school, Larry and I went out for brunch. We don't do this very often, but it is a nice way to while away the time before we have to pick the kids up.
So far we've been to Kuba Kuba and The Starlight, both have excellent food (I like Starlight a bit more, I'm not into the bean thing over at Kuba Kuba) and are extremely reasonably priced. We toyed with the idea of going back to the Starlight, but... they don't open until 10:00 and the kids are dropped off by 9:15. It takes far less than 45 minutes to get there, so we're stuck cooling our heels for quite a while until we actually get inside. Instead we decided to drive around and see what we could find.
We headed down Main st ( which turns into Ellwood ave) and then cut over to Cary when the road ended at Thompson. A few blocks down we noticed that Can Can was open and we thought we would give it a shot. Can Can Brasserie is Richmond's "hot" French Restaurant. We have been thinking of going there for dinner, but it is always booked out. This would be a great opportunity to check it out.
We strolled in and were immediately seated. After a decent interval our server came by as asked us for our drink order. We were hungry and told him we would be ready to order now. He politely updated us on some changes in the menu and then left with our orders in hand. In a flash he was back with some lovely freshly baked bread and some truly outstanding fresh squeezed orange juice.
Sadly the rest of the meal was not up to snuff. It was by far the blandest meal I have ever eaten.
My Egg's Benedict was saved from obscurity by the saltiness of the ham. My crispy potatoes were interesting, but completely lacking in substance and had only a hint of flavor. Larry's omelet was even less inspiring. It looked bland to me and he said it had no taste. The cheese was bland and the sausage was flavorless. We both availed ourselves to the pepper shaker, but it really wasn't enough. Freshly ground pepper may have helped, but it was never offered.
After our meal we window shopped for a bit (nothing was open yet). Upon returning to the car I espied in the window of the restaurant a few reviews of Can Can. They were, of course, all positive. Then I noticed a little blurb about the chef. He was trying to get away from all the butter found in most French cooking.
Aha! That explains the blandness of it all. Butter provides fat and fat is what carries the flavor. If you take away the fat, you take away most of the flavor.
Butter is your friend for tasty French cooking.
It was an expensive lesson, but I'm glad it was just for brunch and not an expensive night on the town. Can Can is now on our No No list.