Tilth's Brunch: So Good You'll Want to Slap (OK, Hug) Your Mama

Taken from Choconancy1's Flickr photostream

Soak Spot: Tilth, 1411 N. 45th St., 633-0801.

When: A few Saturdays ago.

Hangover level: Since I brought my mom to Tilth, I'm going to gloss over the multiple cocktails I drank the night before and say 0.

The Soak: In almost two decades of eating goor-may brunches, I've cut into eggs poached into shapes the good lord never imagined, snacked on dozens of species of flowers, grazed on a garden's worth of pickled vegetable garnishes, and inhaled enough Sterno-can fumes from chafing dishes to kill a few IQ points. And this, my friends, is the most attractive French toast I have ever seen, moist despite its austere shape, vanilla-perfumed and cream-crowned, and bedecked with a Bing cherry compote.

Thank goodness my mother (visiting from Indiana) and I went to Tilth before a day trip to Bellingham, because we arrived at 10:10 and secured the last walk-in spot in the restaurant. Have reservations always been mandatory here, or just since Maria Hines won a Beard last month?

Ever since the great Temperance drives of the early 1900s, Mennonites have allowed themselves only one vice: sugar. Wherever the Kauffmans assemble you'll be sure to find them surrounded by simple carbs. We started with an appetizer of warm, crumbly-moist cherry-almond scones, then moved on to the French toast and biscuits and sunny-side-up eggs smothered in a smoked-chicken gravy. Although the biscuits were delicious, we sacrificed half the plate in order to finish off the remaining scone. Tilth's dinners often justify Hines' reputation, and thankfully she didn't treat brunch like it was just quick $$ for cheap egg dishes. The service was polished, the yellow room drenched in morning light, and the coffee potent enough to stave off the carb nap on the drive north. Then it was on to Bellingham, where I introduced my mother to, in her words, this "new cupcake thing."

Success of the Soak: Effective on all counts, if pricey: $50 for two people. But, for nondrinkers and putative non-recovering-drunkards, brunch doesn't need to be a functional meal.

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