On weekend mornings, the line is out the door, the crowds practically impenetrable. Good luck getting to the host’s stand and, even if you do, without a reservation you’re looking at an hour wait, maybe more. To top it off, there’s nowhere to sit—the entryway bench is piled with six feet of gifts for a glowing mom-to-be.
If Anthropologie were a restaurant, this would be it. Ladies outnumber guys at least eight to one, and they look as if they’ve been up for hours, polishing their statement necklaces and curling their hair. Most dine in groups so the screeching is as deafening as the sparkles are blinding. Is somebody actually wearing a tiara? (Yes.)
A blonde with balloons in the shape of the numbers “2” and “7” tied to the back of her chair admires her new popcorn maker. (At another table, somebody’s dad, presumably dragged here for his own special day, unwraps a pair of Coors Light beer cozies.) Ms. 27 opens a cute black-and-yellow card that reads “Happy Bee Day,” just as a large group at a neighboring table belts out the congratulatory tune. It might as well be the restaurant’s soundtrack.
Turns out the millenials are not just subsisting on granola and Greek yogurt, or having their moms cook for them, as the news media report. They are…All. Eating. Here. Which, if restaurants were rated only in terms of Instagrammability, makes sense. But what about food and service?
The place is so busy, the staff can’t keep pace. Drinks take forever. (Speaking of which, have you ever seen Vitamin Water on a menu? Me either.) The pastries are dry, the food forgettable. It comes out under seasoned, cold—even the cheese sauce.
The table is ours for two hours before we’ll be asked to leave, according to the menu, but there’s really no reason to linger. “You couldn’t pay me to come here again,” my husband says, signaling for the check. The experience feels like a Portlandia episode set in Minneapolis. It’s not a place to eat, it’s a place to open presents. And that’s why you won’t find it among our Best New Brunches—we eat the bad ones so you don’t have to.
Photo by Erika Ludwig. Hair and Makeup by Margo Gordon.