It was only hours after Sunday brunch at the Bachelor Farmer that I got my first call.
"I just can't stop thinking about the steelhead trout," said my dining companion from earlier that day.
A few minutes later, my cellphone rang again. "I can't stop thinking about the bacon sandwich," said my other guest. "When are we going back?"
Truth was, even I couldn't stop thinking about my dish from earlier: the squiqqles of rye spaetzle tossed with shredded cabbage and pork, poached egg perched atop.
How many ways can you change up a brunch menu? The thought had crossed my mind before I looked over chef Paul Berglund's elegant yet simple lineup at the Bachelor Farmer, which started its Sunday brunch menu in June.
Whether scrambled with that memorable smoked steelhead trout, baked with lamb sausage links on the side, or folded onto a tender bun with roasted asparagus, oyster mushrooms and Camembert cheese, the eggs were unforgettable.
Other trademark morning fare finds its way transformed, from bourbon-brioche French toast to buttermilk pancakes with caramelized bananas. Two green salads (one with egg and walnuts, the other with duck confit and farro) and an omelet complete the short list of entrees, which are $10 to $14.
But it may be the smørrebrød that is the most simple treat, whether as a starter or meal itself. Berglund offers what essentially is a variation on his "toasts" that appear on the dinner menu: open-face sandwiches with substantial toppings on a slice of bread, including the aforementioned jaw-dropping BLT variation with its slab of bacon so thick and smoked so deeply that we didn't care that we were essentially eating fat. (TBF calls it bacon confit.) Then there's the house-cured salmon and chopped egg -- love it -- among the four smørrebrød on the menu, all $5 or $6 each.
The sides took a spin on the off-the-beaten path, too: salted strawberries (who knew?) and deviled eggs (curried with coarse mustard on this occasion), among them.
First things first
As you're getting settled, the waiter pulls a fire-truck-red cart to your table, with offers of sparkling wine and an assortment of brioche (nutella, cardamom cream and plain -- such an inadequate word for a rich bread), French macarons and "morning" rolls (on this day a cinnamon roll).
The intriguing drink menu may sway you to a different kind of eye-opener. On my must-have-again list: the breakfast bourbon (with smoked maple syrup and bitters) and TBF's variation on the gin-and-tonic, with cucumber and mint (a version I will definitely make at home). What a way to say good morning.
Follow Lee Svitak Dean on Twitter: @stribtaste