This was our first time at Skinner’s Loft for brunch, but not our first time (see here and here). Despite our misgivings, poor first and second impressions, and the cold, we went for a brunch date.
Brunch looked pretty and was decent, but there was something mini about it. I am an eater, and this Sunday morningafternoon, I was hungry. There was no way around it. So once our sweet little pale of bread goodies came to the table, I pounced, eating three of the little biscuits with sweet butter and tiny jam and two of the dense blueberry muffin bites. The mini theme had begun.
My good friend ordered the steak salad, which looked lovely, but also pretty standard. It came with caramelized onions and meaty Portobello slices and crispy shoestring fries. She opted out of the blue cheese, but reported that the steak was pretty good. This was definitely a good-sized salad, but its size was quite deceiving in terms of the other dishes. ($20)
My friend’s boyfriend ordered the sausage and egg pizzetta. It looked rustic, in that refined kind of way; misshapen dough with a mess of cheese and sauce topped with a pretty fried egg that oozed when he cut it. He said he liked the dough, but the whole time I was trying to figure out how that little thing was enough food for a grown man’s breakfast. The answer evaded me. ($9)
My boyfriend ordered the stuffed french toast which was tempting me since I saw the menu earlier that morning (he is a doll and ordered it under the pretense were sharing both our dishes). The two slices of bread was separated by a thin, barely there layer of mascarpone and some very toasted almonds. It was topped with some grilled peach and sweet blueberry crumble. Like, this was pretty, but there was hardly any flavor. The idea was lovely and luxurious, but the execution felt skimpy and inharmonious. It was just not a lot of food for the price, which resulted in dissatisfaction and the need for more food. Even though it was really two slices of bread and a few flourishes, I could not imagine eating much more of it without being horribly bored. I just wished it were a rounder breakfast (hashbrowns? Some fruit garnish? Something!). ($12)
The dish I chose might have been the most substantial and well rounded as it covered all the bases. It was a chorizo, black bean and potato hash, topped with some fried eggs, avocado and tortilla strips. I loved how everything mixed together in the little skillet, but somehow the green tomatillo sauce was not giving enough flavor to the soft potatoes and chunky bits of chorizo. This was the most robust meal, piling on the proteins and the starch. The tortilla strips added some fun texture, but there was still something missing. It was lacking heat, and a little feeling. ($12)
As much as people say they like the place, I still can’t get behind it. The brunch definitely tasted better than the dinners I have had in the past. Maybe the smaller menu allowed for more focus on each item. The portions were not quite large enough, so I might just hit the diner next time I’m super famished for brunch.