Brunch at Cookshop – Worth The Wait?

When you see a crowd waiting for a table outside at this spacious, open, loft-like space on a Saturday afternoon, your expectations run high. The décor was very clean, with big windows that open up to an outdoor seating area. Had the view from the big windows and the outdoor seating area been anything but a stacked parking lot, it would make a great restaurant to frequent during the summertime. Although that was the case, there was something special about the airiness of the restaurant that made it very comfortable, almost homey.

The brunch menu at Cookshop offered many dishes with appealing names and ingredients. The fresh orange juice and tea was good, and it’s rare to get butter at room temperature for the bread, so that was good as well. In terms of the food, however, it neither warranted the wait nor the price. We ordered the fresh ricotta beignets with fruit compote, the cookshop scramble, and the special, pork tacos with a creamy lemon vinagrette-like sauce. The beignet was delicious: creamy and tender. However, I would call it a dessert rather than an appetizer. The cookshop scramble was something I could have made at home with cheap smoked salmon. The salad on the side was not fresh, and lacked dressing/seasoning. The pork tacos were disappointing. The pork itself was good: tender with a bit of fat. They were very stingy with the sauce on the tacos; perhaps it’s the “healthy” choice, but I wanted none of that in a taco. If I order a taco, chances are I am not looking for something “light”. If I really wanted to watch my weight, I would just order a diet Coke (note the sarcasm. I think it’s ironic that people order a diet Coke and think it compensates for the rest of the meal). The tacos also came with so much beet and onions that it overpowered the flavor of the pork and the little bit of creamy sauce that was on the tacos.

I hoped I had something good to write about this restaurant, like service, but I can’t find it in my standards system to say their service was good. It was not awful; I guess I would prefer my waitress to be pleasant – say a smile or something, but that was apparently asking for too much here. We also felt a little rushed. When one party at the table was done, they came over to try to clear all our plates when others were clearly still working on their meal. By that time, it was already 2pm, and the brunch crowd subsided, so there was no need to rush us, but they did.

As much as this review may sound unappealing, I would venture back for 2 reasons: 1) though it was expensive, lacked flavor, seasoning, and sauce, it gives me the impression that I am eating healthier than at other restaurants, and 2) the beignets were that delicious!


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