Soak Spot: Serendipity Cafe, 3222 West McGraw Street, Magnolia
Time of the Soak: Sunday, 12:21 p.m.
Level of Hangover: On a scale of 1 – 10, Paige, my breakfasting companion, and I came in at a technical zero, but I also went to mass in the morning and the incense-induced headache kind of simulates the experience. (Okay, not really, but I want this to be helpful for all of us on those post-binge mornings.)
Soaking Sustenance: Eggs Benedict (when in doubt go with a standard) and Challah French Toast. It’s nice to know that pork-fiend or keeping kosher (okay it's served with bacon, so if that's a concern, ask they leave off the side-o-pig) Serendipity’s got you covered--because all g(G)od(s)' children need a hangover cure. Nothing about either was uniquely impressive, but the poached eggs fluffed up nicely, the French Toast was unsoggy, and the potatoes mopped it all up deliciously. Also worth noting, the coffee came in giant mugs, which is a big plus in my book, especially if there’s no breakfast-friendly drinking on the menu.
Hair of the Dog: First a confession, I’ve always loved this phrase, but after watching All the King’s Men at Intiman a couple weeks ago, I realized the way I’ve always used it is, well, wrong. In case anyone else is confused: a scene between the narrator, Jack Burden, and Willie Stark at the beginning of his descent into political corruption, should clear it up. Stark goes on his first ever binge and Burden finds him the next morning fighting a mean hangover. Burden tosses the ailing politico his flask saying Stark needs “a hair of the dog that bit him.”
"Ohhhh," I whispered. So assuming I’m not the only person who didn’t quite get it, hope that helps.
So the hair of this dog? The children’s play area. More than booze or incense, nothing brings on a tough morning like a child. Magnolia isn’t exactly a hopping night-scene kind of ‘hood so most of the people here are families looking for a weekend break. I have to admit, when I first walked in and saw the toys and little plastic house, I started to worry our outing would be ruined by cries and fights over trucks. But if you’ve ever found yourself in the position of trying to get a preschooler out on brunch to “please stop banging on the nice lady’s chair” this is a welcome respite. And while the kiddos emitted occasional shrieks and gurgles, there were enough toys in the walled-off area to prevent tantrum throwing.
Success of the Soak: It was all clouds and miserable fall outside, but inside my favorite comfort foods, those giant mugs, and contentedly playing kids filled my heart with sunshine.