gray days at 900 grayson

My roommate’s mom came to visit and let us choose somewhere for her to take us to brunch! Aside from being many people’s top pick for brunch in Berkeley, 900 Grayson has chicken and waffles (which I’ve sadly never even had but I don’t need to be convinced of its brilliance. I need to move to the South for a bit for the sole purpose of raising my blood sugar/cholesterol.) AND get this – vegan “chicken” (seitan) and waffles!

been a rainy week

been a rainy week

Or so my friend told me. Their menu had nothing of the sort (not to mention only two vegetarian brunch entrees) so I hoped it was some special secret menu I could order from or substitute, but our waiter/the owner told us he had to take it off because he didn’t like the rubbery texture and needed to find a new seitan supplier. If Berkeley can’t support a good seitan supplier I’m afraid all hope is lost. It seemed like they hadn’t had the seitan on the menu for a while now, and he seemed quite sad at the mention of it.

packed, but the staff miraculously maneuvers around everyone

packed, but the staff miraculously maneuvers around everyone

I like the out-of-place chandelier and that their bathroom (“WC”) is separated demurely by a curtain. There’s a tiny counter in the front with some cookies and cupcakes that don’t look like they sell very well. Anyway, this place is teeny tiny but considering it was prime brunch time on saturday, the 20 minute wait didn’t seem unreasonable at all. They ask if you’d like anything to drink while you wait, though then you’re left standing in front of the entrance with a hot cup of coffee and a platter. Kind of awks.

two of us thought the mango overpowered, two said strawberry. you decide

two of us thought the mango overpowered, two said strawberry. you decide

the agua fresca (3) of el dia was mango strawberry so you can bet we were all over that. Not sweet at all, a bit watered down due to the ice, which I preferred.

goodness gravy.

goodness gravy.

yes yes YES. They make you choose between gravy and syrup and I think the answer is quite plain and simple. Although since two people got this “demon lover” (12) (ugh now why can’t they get a “Seitan Lover”) they offered to put both on the side so they could share. I’m so glad the gravy was the white Southern kind instead of brown Thanksgiving gravy. It tasted like thick, peppery butter – I know because I tried some with my hash browns and continued to stare at this tub of goodness for the rest of the meal, wishing it were indeed a tub. Or that I was the size of a pillow mint. If I had this dish, I’d probably eat the chicken and waffle mostly seperately, which means the waffle might’ve been too thin and cakey for my taste. At least that’s what G, who’s also a fan of Belgian-style confirmed. Everyone seemed to enjoy the spicy chicken.

Almost got this - Time-Life Cookbook (9)

Almost got this - Time-Life Cookbook (9)

I would’ve ordered this if not for the abundance of gouda stuffed into the omelet. They really hooked her up with the condiments – hot sauce, tobasco, cranberry jam, ketchup. Though, if they’re going to keep serving tiny portions in their tiny restaurant, smaller plates might be wise. I don’t think many people like that much blank real-estate on their plates before they even dig in.

My "7th and Grayson" (8.5)

My "7th and Grayson" (8.5)

“Organic Tofu, Red Onion, Tomato, Mint & Spicy Moroccan Harissa Scramble, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hashed Browns, Toasted Acme Levain”  This is the only vegan entree they currently offer. I so wanted to love it but I’ve enjoyed a lot of tofu scrambles more than this. I wish it had some nutritional yeast for the color and extra flavor kick. The levain toast was great but I’m a salted butter fan and this didn’t have that much flavor. The hashbrowns are fine, hard to mess up, but too greasy for me. Not sure if it’d be possible to cut that out of hashbrowns though. Anyway, I had to use extra salt, ketchup, and hot sauce to get the flavor I needed from this. But at least I will keep my figure trim after such a dainty brunch. I won’t be back unless they reinstate the seitan n’ waffles.

For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Fat Apples and their massive/delicious brunch menu during this meal. A prediction for the future?

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service guacamole

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