The brunch to end all brunches

After eating light the past couple of days, it was time to go a bit overboard again.  I had walked by a place called Pani only a couple of blocks from my loft and looked good so I thought I’d check it out for brunch.  The layout was interesting, essentially a long hallway with seating along the way which eventually led to a fairly large dining room and outdoor patio.  It was packed but I lucked out, securing a table in the hallway, which was great for people watching.

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As one can see, the decor was a bit kitschy but fun, with all kinds of different furniture and nicknacks everywhere.  It had a slight Alice in Wonderland vibe to it, which I assume was completely intentional.  The menu was extensive, spanning several pages but then I was presented this.

The combination of it being in Spanish along with slightly dicey handwriting made it a bit of a challenge to understand.  Surely those were options and I was to pick one per category, I asked?  No, my waitress replied, you get all of it.  Since most of you dear readers don’t know Spanish, this is what I would get with the brunch:

– OJ
– A glass of Malbec
– A glass of champagne
– Rillette of chicken, mushroom and bacon
– Smoked salmon with 2 poached eggs, cheese and Hollandaise with a savory French toast
– Salad with cherry tomatoes
– Bruschetta with duxelles and Brie
– Dulce de leche mousse
– Parfait of passion fruit, strawberries with chantilly cream
– Chocolate cookie with a chocolate ganache filling and caramel.

…. All for $130 pesos (which meant $20 with my increased exchange rate.  It was a no brainer then to get this and see what madness would unfold.

The first thing to arrive was both the fresh squeezed OJ and a very generous pour of a quite good Malbec.

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I was curious how the various courses would be presented and soon found out.

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Basically, all of the savory courses came at once.  I was a bit in awe of this monstrous pile of goodness, which took up the entire length of my table.  I decided to go for the eggs and smoked salmon section first, which led to the perfectly poached eggs break their yolks into the French toast.  The brioche was a bit tricky to eat with all of that piled on top but I somehow managed to get through most of it.  I knew the bruschetta would be trouble so I just took a few nibbles and that was it.  The rillette though was amazing, chunks of delicious roasted chicken with mushrooms and bacon – what was not to like?

After about 20 minutes, I had finally polished off most of it, including the salad to at least have something slightly healthy.  I forgot to take the aftermath photo but believe me, it wasn’t pretty.  I had opted to save the champagne for the sweeter stuff so they whisked away my savory remnants and reset the table.  For some reason, they wouldn’t let me have the OJ and champagne as a mimosa so I just made one myself.  It was actually a really good champagne, much better than the usual brunch mimosa fare.  Now I was ready for round 2.

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As I waited for my next course or courses I guess, I had a chance to chat with the chef and compliment him on the food so far.  I also got a quick snap of my tiny, cute as a button waitress, who blushed when I asked to take her photo.

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I continued to enjoy my mimosa creation and a few minutes later, this arrived in front of me.

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I was relieved that the sweet courses weren’t as massive as the savory ones because I’m fairly certain I would have collapsed into a food coma if they were.  Once again, everything was superb.  I had been wondering what mousse de DDL meant but one bite made it clear that it was Dulce de Leche.  It was pretty much a perfect mousse, light as can be and packed with DDL flavor.  The parfait was a nice contrast in both texture and taste – tart and sweet at the same time, again delicious.  I’m not a huge chocolate chocolate cookie like the one presented but since it was just a one bite item, I had it too.

It was now almost 2 hours since I had arrived and I felt the food baby growing in my stomach.  I stumbled out of the restaurant and vowed to have something pretty light to eat tonight.  We’ll see if that holds true given the limited choices for Sunday night dining in my barrio.

 

 

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