Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ginger Park: Brunch

Most Sundays when I visit the South End, I decide to have brunch at either The Beehive or Myers & Chang. This past Sunday though, I decided to try a new restaurant, Ginger Park, which replaced the former Banq. Chef Patricia Yeo was enticed to come to Boston from New York City to preside over Ginger Park.

Their menu is "modern Asian," has plenty of interesting sounding dishes and I wanted to check it out. It is located not too far from Myers & Chang, though the menus share little in common except they are both Asian inspired. I knew Ginger Park served brunch but did not know what they served as their brunch menu is not listed on their website yet. I assumed, which turned out to be wrong, that it might be like a dim sum menu, or at least have plenty of Asian options.

In fact, their Brunch menu is more traditional, with plenty of egg dishes, French toast, pancakes and omelettes. They do put their own spin on many of the dishes, but it is nothing like the dim sum brunch at Myers & Chang. It reminds me far more of the brunch menu at The Beehive. Entrees range from $9-$14, which seems usual for many Boston brunches. Some of the entrees include: Huevos Rancheros; Shirred Eggs, Merguez Sausage & Goat Cheese Grits; Thai Omelette with Pee-Wee Prawns, Chillies & Herbs, Jasmine Rice; Lemon Souffle Pancake, Blueberries, Orange Honey Butter; and Hangover Burger, bacon, cheese & fried egg, hand cut fries.

Before our brunch arrived, we received complimentary slices of warm, house-made banana bread with a dish of soft butter. This was a nice start to the meal. It was good banana bread, a lighter style than some.

I chose to order the Croque Madame ($12), with house cured ham, Gruyere cheese and an over easy egg. I love this sandwich, though I am also very particular about it. My favorite is served at L'Express in New York City and it is the ideal to which I compare all other such sandwiches. Unfortunately, Ginger Park's sandwich did not measure up in my opinion. First, the bread seemed too dry and just didn't appeal to me. Then, the ham was too thick. It tasted fine, but there was too much of it, making the sandwich a bit chewier than I think it should have been. Other people might enjoy this sandwich, but it was not a style that appealed to me.

The Chicken Schnitzel & Arugula Salad ($11), with sunny side up egg and warm bacon dressing, was a better dish. The delicious Schnitzel was a large piece of lightly breaded, moist chicken. The dressing was also tasty, a nice accompaniement to the arugula. That is a dish I would recommend. The side of Thick Cut Bacon ($5) consisted of 3 pieces of bacon, slightly thicker than normal bacon. Nothing special. The Buttermilk Biscuit ($5) is good-sized but still seems expensive for a mere biscuit. At other places, you can get an egg and cheese sandwich on a biscuit for that price.

I saw someone else order the Hangover Burger and it looked very good, a thick burger that would be difficult to put your mouth around. If I returned for brunch, I might order that.

Service was very good. I am a bit ambivalent though about brunch here. I was hoping for more of an Asian flair to the menu. I would like to return here, but for dinner sometime to try their Asian dishes.

Ginger Park
1375 Washington St.
Boston, MA
Phone: (617) 451-0077

Ginger Park on Urbanspoon

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