Caiola’s, a bit dim on a cloudy morning, looks and feels just like itself. Thanks to its great patio, expert preparations of brunch classics, and reasonable prices, it’s the best of the new West End choices. The bird’s nest, with two soft-yolked eggs tucked into holed toast, was my grandfather’s favorite breakfast. The thin sausage gravy was ladled with enough restraint that it complemented rather than overwhelmed the yolk soaking into the toast. An omelet was perfectly cooked — fluffy but not so airy it lost all the creamy texture of eggs. The crab flavor got lost just a bit in the cream and spiciness of the filling. Hash browns were herby, with small pieces of potato that were crispy without turning into little rocks.
As the slender bartender struggled to shake the world’s largest container of bloody Mary mix, we admired her early-morning dedication to the task just as we admired the way Caiola’s retains all its best qualities even in the light of day.
Brian Duff can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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