Mothers Day Brunch

Update on May 14, 2013: Please do not leave comments or advice  for Amy. She doesn’t read the blog. the times I have been there, the food was good and I got excellent service. But I was also told that Amy does all the cooking and baking, and that was not true. And food servers not getting the tips? Inexcusable.

Mothers Day Brunch always makes me think of elderly women in pastel, Easter-egg colored pants suits eating with unwilling grandchildren. So we always do something at home. Cooking Man has no shortage of talents for breakfast. But this time, we noticed Amy’s Baking Company (in Scottsdale, AZ) had added breakfast and lunch menus. Amy’s is one of my favorite places to be fussed over and have delicious food. Amy is amazingly skilled with both main dishes and desserts–a rare trait–and one I enjoy each time I’ve been there. Samy greets us like family and Amy’s magic is not to be taken lightly. We had houseguests, so it seemed even more of a good reason to go.

We started the meal with mimosas. The orange juice was fresh squeezed, the champagne dry, and the glass was dipped in sugar.  Easy to toast to all our health with!

You’ll notice all the images on this site show partially consumed dishes. I kept forgetting to take photos until I had tucked into a dish. And these were some dishes worth tucking into.

The menu is huge and I had some trouble deciding what to eat–breakfast or lunch. But breakfast won out–I love breakfast. I love breads and eggs and crisp breakfast potatoes and thick-cut French Toast. But those are treats and most mornings, I have Greek yogurt and fruit or oatmeal. It’s fine, but I wanted something celebratory. So, the mimosa.

Then a blintz. The rich, sweet ricotta was wrapped in a crisp, firm crépe. An orange marmalade added just enough bitterness to make the balance of sweet and bitter, rich and crisp.

Another table-mate had chicken and waffles. I know this dish only as a Southern fast-food treat, with soggy waffles. But I have a weakness for it, so I sneaked some off the plate across the table.

Amy has a gift with flour. Whatever she makes, from gnocchi to breads, are light enough to float above the plate. This waffle was, too. The chicken was easy to eat, no bones, just tenders. A rich maple butter pulled together the chicken and waffle.

The chicken was done all the way through, a must for me, so the crust was well done and crunchy. Another must–a crunchy chicken crust.

Another table-mate had Eggs Benedict. Three big eggs sat on perfectly wilted baby spinach, napped in glossy Hollandaise and served next to hot, crispy, and perfectly spiced potato cubes. As with the other items, this one was generous–too much to eat for one. I have never left Amy’s hungry, and I have the hips to prove it!

None of us can walk past the bakery counter at the front of the restaurant without pausing, and we chose one person to get the dessert the three of us would split. Amy’s pies are sized  for three or four to share, and this chocolate cream pie was no exception. The whipped cream tastes as if it is a whipped mascarpone–firm and rich. The chocolate cream is real chocolate sitting on crushed chocolate cookies. A perfect dessert for the chocoholics at the table–that was all of us.

Croissants are new to Amy’s Baking Company, so we took some to try later. These crossants are worth going out of your way for. There are three flavors–plain, almond and chocolate. They are all buttery and light, and show all the work (and benefits) of the folding and rolling chilled butter into the dough. The chocolate is dark and rich, the almonds is smooth and nutty, and the plain is a floaty-light, crispy treat better than any I’ve found in local bakeries.

I’m glad I decided to go against tradition for this Mothers Day–it was worth it, from the first bite to the take-home boxes.

–Quinn McDonald is a foodie in a family of foodies. With her son and husband both in the house, this has been an extraordinary weekend of eating and cooking