monster vs. monster

v.i.p. : julian’s
February 27, 2010, 12:00 pm
Filed under: vegan in providence | Tags: ,

I am a big fan of brunch. I always wake up super hungry, and breakfast at home just doesn’t do it for me. At brunch I can have three beverages at a time and load up on grease and sugar without judgment. At brunch waiting in line means extra time for coffee, maybe a chance to wander off and eye a garage sale or two. At brunch I can be sleepy or grouchy, but I know once the food comes I will turn into a loving human being once more. Brunch cures all ills. Brunch heals the world. Last weekend, some friends introduced me to grunge brunch – brush your teeth, throw some pants over your pajamas, and go – which made brunch better than I ever thought it could be. Why waste time on showers and makeup when you’ve got four people sharing a bathroom and you’re starving? Go eat already!

I was pretty happy when I discovered Julian’s. This diner is a stone’s throw from awesome coffee, vintage clothes, and records, and the neighborhood looks to be garage-sale friendly. Julian’s wins the prize for reminding me of Oakland more than any place in Providence. Good music, bearded servers, windows plastered with show posters, giant whisks hanging from the ceiling, and a really decent beer menu? What’s not to love? Throw some star wars figurines on the wall and a tv in the bathroom playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I’m a happy gal.

I would have expected the people here to be sort of rude and exclusive, but (like every truly awesome, way-too-cool person I’ve met in this town) I’ve found the staff and customers alike to be consistently friendly and talkative. I tend to babble when I get excited, and I prize very highly any place whose servers can turn my babble into banter instead of looking at me like a crazy person (Nice Slice, I’m looking at you). Atmosphere: A+  On to the food.

Julian’s serves brunch all day. So already, YES. Their regular vegan brunch offerings include PB&J pancakes, cinnamon orange french toast, customizable tofu scrambles, and oatmeal. But the absolute best of the best, what my waiter described as “the illest vegan breakfast,” is the Saint Jamez Benedict: a fried tofu ‘egg’, garlic spinach, and bright yellow-orange vegan hollandaise, all poured over two giant pieces of fluffy, thick-crusted french bread. Top it off with two tempeh sausage patties and a side of flavorful potatoes, and you’ve got yourself a MEAL.

I’ve never had nonvegan eggs benedict, so I can’t make judgments on authenticity. I can say, however, that this plate is a flavor explosion. The hollandaise is super garlicky and sort of sweet and savory at the same time. The sauce is the perfect consistency: runny enough to soak the bread, but thick enough to cover every forkful. The “egg” is also impressive: soft, fluffy tofu on the inside, lightly fried (but not crispy) on the outside. I can’t effuse enough about the sausage. It has, like all tempeh sausage I’ve tried, more of a soy-cake consistency than a squishy meat consistency, but I really prefer it that way – I am prone to mixing my food, and the crumbly factor makes it easy to mix the sausage into the potatoes. The flavor is spot on, comparable to the pizza sausage recipe in VwaV. It makes a big meal into a humongous meal, but I insist you order the sausage. It ties the whole thing together.

Julian’s has plenty of meat- and egg- and dairy-filled brunch options for your friends. They also offer three morning-time cocktails.  Everyone who comes here leaves happy. And sated. And maybe an inch or two wider. When the weather turns toward spring, you can bet I’ll be at Julian’s every Sunday morning. For now, I’m just trying to make it out on one of these Wednesday nights for WNWN‘s stitch and bitch. One thing at a time.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Holy shit. You totally didn’t build this place up enough. CAN WE GO HERE EVERY DAY I’M IN TOWN?

Comment by BW Diederich

right? it’s like fellini’s, except WAY BETTER and sans khaki pants.

Comment by devon

But is there a magic orange juice making machine?

Comment by bw

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