Sunday, July 3, 2011

Busick Court (Part 2)

(Original Review -- May 2011)

The following is pulled verbatim from my review on Yelp (but I've added pictures to this post):

I went in for Sunday brunch at 9 a.m. just because I was in the mood to eat more of Busick Court's awesome food (and get extremely large portions). I had been eyeing the menu the previous night (went to Busick's website for that).

The place was bustling with patrons, but luckily for me, there were still a few tables open when I arrived. One of the staff members told me I could sit at any open table. All employees were smiling and I felt that uplifting vibe in the air.

I've been to Busick Court twice in the past, once for lunch and once for breakfast, so it was time to try the brunch menu.

I ordered a three-egg-white veggie scramble with potatoes (chunks) and wheat toast. The scramble included zucchini, onion, broccoli mushrooms, and tomatoes. It was then seasoned with basil and garlic, topped with cheddar and jack cheese.

As usual, I received very large portions, and I still stand by my statement that this is the best deal in Salem, and perhaps in Oregon.

Garden Egg Scramble (egg whites), with potatoes and wheat toast
The scramble was delicious. The egg white scramble was perfectly fluffy, the vegetables ideally cooked. The potatoes were cooked just the way I wanted them, home fries style (crispy brown on the outside, fluffy on the inside). Two nice slices of wheat bread were lightly buttered and properly toasted.

I also placed a to-go order for Busick Court's Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast. I had to try that after seeing Rachael Ray's show "$40 a Day" -- she got that when doing the Salem episode.

Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast.
Yeah, it's in a to-go box. It still rules.
Even after finishing that large egg white scramble, the potatoes, and the toast, the Banana Nut French Toast did not last the morning. I sampled a piece inside the restaurant, and it was just the best breakfast item I've ever had, period. And I've eaten a lot of great food in the past.

The French toast had the right amount of batter to coat each (thick) slice of bread. Two thick slices of egg bread were dipped in a cinnamon-nutmeg batter. But then Busick Court went the extra mile by dipping that battered bread in cornflakes before cooking it to perfection on the griddle. The cornflakes provided a little contrasting texture that I would not have thought of doing myself.

The chef mixed bananas with some brown sugar and walnuts, heating that up for a heavenly filling.  The fresh taste of the banana still remained, further pleasing my palette.

I couldn't stop smiling as I gorged that second carb-laced breakfast down at home. Even with a couple pounds of food already in my stomach, and even after taking time to walk home and then walk to Safeway to get groceries, the French toast was down for the count by 11 a.m. And I did not feel guilty about eating any of this.

What makes the Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast the best breakfast item, in my opinion? It ultimately was not too sweet for my tastes. Even with the banana and the brown sugar, the bread, walnuts, cornflakes, cinnamon, and nutmeg each worked to control the sweetness. And also, I didn't need syrup for this. The meal was awesome without it. But feel free to use syrup and/or butter if you want.

A few nitpicking criticisms on the food. The potatoes could have used a bit more seasoning and I would have preferred just a bit more banana nut filling in the French toast. But the positives of the experience vastly outweigh any criticisms.

I love this place, and I'm definitely not alone on that sentiment. Rachael Ray was on the money here. Busick Court should be a must-stop for the breakfast/brunch lover.

For several weeks now, I was convinced I had completely overrated Busick Court the first time around. Even though I tried much harder this time to find any reason to decrease my initial rating, I couldn't do it. It was about $18 for two gigantic meals, which is just a sick bargain. I couldn't stop raving about that French toast. At the table next to me, the people gushed at how huge the portions were. Busick Court has won me over with fantastic food and great dining experiences.

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