I was tired and not hungry and ready to cancel brunch, but Norah insisted on going. We had a minor gripe about her not giving me enough time to get ready, but an hour and a half was an exaggeration and not necessary at all.
It was a trek to Knife and Tine. This neighbourhood is not ideal to get to from Andersonville.
Michael had already been there for half an hour by the time we arrived and had a pleasant buzz on. The barman (who was also the manager) recommended the breakfast burrito to him as it was “the size of a football”.
I ordered the breakfast burrito. It was the size of a small football. They still congratulated me on finishing it. Delicious meals deserve better than being relegated to leftovers.
Home fries are seemingly a big part of US brunches. Ketchup and sriracha were the sauces of choice. I am very into sriracha. Hans had a thai sweet chili sauce and had half the bottle with one meal. He checked the sugar levels – 53g per 100g – and threw the rest of the bottle away.
We were seated at the front “conservatory” side of the restaurant. It was light and airy, compared to the back/bar area which was darker and I expect better in the evening. “A country atmosphere with big city cooking” was what we decided to call it when we were pitching Yelp reviews to each other. We were seated at the “attractive people seat”, right by the window. My mother always asks where I am seated in restaurants and this is her preferred seat.
There was one main waitress, but we were also spoken to by three other staff members. All of them were genuinely (and mildly unnervingly, as I was to mention on paying) pleasant and friendly.
On bringing our meals I told the waitress that this was my first real American brunch (‘ave it, Athan’s) and had high expectations from Norah’s glowing reviews.
Norah and I shared some American pancakes ($5). She wanted to order a fancier version, but I (rightly) advised that we would probably have too much food.
Never before have I been convinced by American pancakes. Knife and Tine do it right. Sweet, light and fluffy. Sugar doo doo doo doo doo doo.
The coffee was good. I may increasingly be becoming a coffee snob but I have a real soft spot for filter coffee.
“As it’s your first time having an American brunch, and you have been here a few times, here are some beignets.”
Genuinely pleasant people. Genuinely glorious beignets, though my first and only foray into beignets – Norah, the seasons beignet eater, said they were the best she ever had. A light, crisp donut. Norah has been given freebies every time she has been to Knife and Tine, and pointed out that while the ingredients needed to whip this together would be minimal, the thought speaks volumes. Brunch is very much the overpriced meal.
The freebies kept coming. Norah and Michael had a coffee cocktail. The waitress informed us that it was new on the menu and the manager was keen to know what they thought. The manager came over, asked what they thought, then said that it would go well with a whiskey cream which he proceeded to bring over on the house.
Food was reasonably priced, drinks were quite expensive. But Swish Saturday should be Swish AF.
I told Norah that this was my favourite meal in my Chi-Bos trip. All things considered (meal, ambiance, vibe, company, service) it certainly was. When expectations are low, something beautiful often comes out of it. Al’s, another reluctant visit, was the best food though.
We went to watch Norah dance, shop in Target, and visit the “Amer-I-Can” Macy’s and flower show.