So, this weekend my book club had its first official meeting. My girlfriends and I decided that our book club would be fun. And of course, by fun, we mean that the highlight of our meet ups would be food (but, of course) then followed by a discussion of the book. A lady must prioritize, right? Now, of course the point of this article is not to bore you with the mundane details of our dialogue (but for those of you who do care, our book of the month was “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett– it was a wonderful read). However good the book may have been, it was not what led me out of the warm comfort of my tiny little condo and into the snow, 18 degree weather and ridiculous traffic. IT WAS THE FOOD.
Julius Meinl on Southport was our brunch destination for this brutally cold, first day of spring. I’ve previously indulged in Julius Meinl coffees, but this was my first time at the restaurant, which is known for its assortment of Austrian pastries and teas. As first-timers no one properly counseled us on the “do’s and don’ts of brunching at Julius Meinl”. I will make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes that we did:
1. Make sure you entire group arrives on time. Although there were only four of us brunching, two of us managed to be nearly an hour late. The problem (besides being socially unacceptable) was that the restaurant will only seat you if your entire party is present. And they mean it. Next…
2. If you are late, then order your coffee or tea while you wait. The best way to describe Julius Meinl is… cute. They serve your teas and coffees on chichi silver platters and the whole nine. The only problem with that is the table itself was also…cute. Unfortunately, cute is not always functional! Needless to say, it took a lot of brainstorming, discussion and strategic placement in order to figure out exactly how we would also make room for our food. Quite honestly, that was the most challenging situation I faced all week.
3. Bring your own condiments. You know how in Parisian restaurants, the food portions tend to be really…small (are you noticing the theme here)? Well the same applied to the condiment portions (honey for the tea and half and half for the coffee) at this restaurant.
Now that I have properly prepared you for brunching at Julius Meinl I can wholeheartedly tell you—THAT THE FOOD WAS SIMPLY AMAZING. One of my friends opted for the Nutella Crepes, which were drizzled in a chocolate and hazelnut cream, whipped cream and stuffed with strawberries and bananas. I had a specialty menu item which was a skillet dish made with applewood sausage, jalapeno cheddar cheese, roasted potatoes and eggs. Our teas of choice were the Green Grapeberry and Green Kimono teas. Everything was to die for.
Julius Meinl is a great brunch destination for a Girls’ Day Out, Family Day Out or even a Date Night. The café-restaurant has a regular schedule of jazz and classical musicians who perform on weekends between the hours of 8pm and 11pm.
Overall, for its excellent service, expansive menu selections and its apparently, incredible chef, I give Julius Meinl my highest rating…three leopard print pumps.