Cost: Around $10 per person
When I used to wait tables at Egg Harbor back in the day, I got plenty of experience serving Mother's Day brunch. I developed a kind of fear for Mother's Day because I'd always end up serving large parties with tons of little kids. I'm still not that keen on fighting large crowds with my own family in order to get brunch on that special day. Well to make matters worse Tali and Schneider convinced me to stay out late the night before. Either way, the point is that I wasn't too keen on getting up early for this meal.
Our family members from out of town were on their way home, but Mom and Dad were still hanging out in the city. I picked them up, and we met up with Lisa and Noam at John's Place.
John's Place is right down the road from my apartment at the corner of Webster and Racine. It's an ideal brunch spot in that if the line is too long, you can go two stores over and grab something at Sweet Mandy B's or Floriole. I'm not saying that you'll face a long line, but if you do, there are good backup plans. We got there around 9:45 AM and got seated immediately (I'd say we beat the crowds I was so fearful of). The restaurant has 2 medium sized rooms with a bar, but we ended up at one of the few patio tables. It was a little chilly but still nice to be outside (until this one angry soccer mom laid on her horn at a biker right as she passed by our table).
The service was pretty good although they could've done a better job refilling water and coffee. The price is similar to most other brunch places throughout the city with items in the $8-10 range.
Our order was pretty straight forward. Lisa got the Smoked Salmon Scramble, Noam got the Oliver's Scramble, mom got the Challah French Toast, dad got the Chilequiles with Chorizo, and I got the Breakfast Burrito. The portions were universally large, and everyone's eggs were light and fluffy. The French Toast was an excessive portion with a nice light cinnamon flavoring, but I would've liked more textural variety. The Chilequiles was like having breakfast nachos. The tomatilla salsa gave the dish a nice acidity while the chicken chorizo added a spicy kick. I was a fan of my burrito. It was pretty standard with the addition of some roasted poblano peppers. It could've used some more spiciness, but this gave me the chance to quote Stacey King. I thought the potatoes were a bit underdone, but then again I always seem to think that. I also thought it was odd to serve bread with a breakfast burrito, but I'm not one to complain about extra food. On a final food note, I went here with Carrie over a year ago, and she was a huge fan of the Pumpkin Pancakes.
The Oliver's Scramble
The Challah French Toast
The Smoked Salmon Scramble
The Chilequiles with Chicken Chorizo
The Breakfast Burrito
Now I know that brunch doesn't usually come with dessert, but my sister and Noam ran over to Sweet Mandy B's and got us some of their cupcakes to make things a bit more special for Mother's Day. They were delicious, rich, and heavily frosted. My favorite was the Snickerdoodle.
Some Baller Cupcakes
With a Southwestern add on to a pretty standard brunch menu, John's Place provides a variety of solid options. Nothing really blew me away, but most everything was well prepared. We beat the crowds, and the outdoor seating was pleasant. I'm giving John's Place 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.