For Mother’s Day, my family took me to Meridian. They were offering a special brunch menu, and we hadn’t been since the new chef (Dean Sample) took over so I was kind of excited for it. I have really enjoyed Meridian the last few years and was anxious to see if the new chef had started putting his own spin on things.
We ordered some fried oysters ($15.50) to start. A version of these has been on the menu since the restaurant opened, and has varied a bit from chef to chef. These were one of my favorite versions, mainly because the oysters were small bits (honestly can’t say they were all small oysters and maybe have actually been cut into smaller sizes) but they were really good—juicy inside and with the right amount of crunchy coating outside. There was a swipe of spinach puree underneath and a swipe of hollandaise. A couple of dollops of Sriracha alongside were nice to zip it up if you wanted too. The thing that made these so good was how perfectly the oysters were cooked though. The boys split a Caesar salad ($7.75) as well, and it was one of the better ones I have had in town (I am extremely picky about Caesar salads). It was tossed in an appropriate amount of a nice and zippy dressing.
I was enticed by the crab cake benedict ($29) they were offering that day—it was kind of a deconstructed version and was mostly crab cakes—but I saw someone else get it as we sat down and the nice round poached egg attracted my attention. It was a good dish—but again was mostly focused on the crab cakes, which were nice and crabby, but pretty dense and filling. There was no way I would finish both. And sadly my egg was punctured and therefore deflated when it arrived. It still tasted good, but wasn’t as visually appealing. The crab cakes were served on top of slices of bread with what was I think more of the spinach puree, but the bread just increased the overfilling nature of the dish. The asparagus alongside was cooked and seasoned nicely. The whole thing was drizzled with a nice lemony hollandaise and some crumbled bacon (in retrospect, the flavors were pretty similar to the oysters).
Honestly, the best thing on the table entrée-wise was the burger ($22.50). Wow, that thing was delicious. It was beef topped with Fisher Farms ham, a fried egg, Gruyere cheese and garlic mayo. The soft eggy Brioche bun is perfect (the dinner rolls are just smaller versions and were a huge hit with my kids)—it’s soft yet holds up to all the toppings and the very medium rare meat that hubby had on his burger. You can get the burger on the menu all the time, although the egg, which was SOOO good—just runny enough without soaking the sandwich—I think was only available because it was a “brunch.” The variation of using Gruyere was great—and with the ham as well, it was like a really good ham and cheese sandwich on a burger. The burger here is worth going for by itself. The fries were fine, although not as crisp and as memorable as I remember them being in the past.
|Cross section of the burger|
All in all, we had a nice brunch and my kids were on extra good behavior for me. The food and service were good, nothing was spilled and we had a really kick ass burger (thank goodness for a hubby who goes halfsies on entrées). The kids were only bummed because we couldn’t get dessert because of nut issues. But I was pretty darn full anyway. I am interested to see what the regular dinner menu is like—will have to give it a try here soon. Anyone been since the new chef started?
5694 N. Meridian