I had read the good reviews about The Porch since it opened and had heard nothing but positive word-of-mouth buzz from friends and acquaintances, so with Moe in tow, we made a dedicated effort to go experience for ourselves what we had been missing. My advice to you all is that if you haven't been to The Porch yet, you have been depriving yourself of some of the best food available in years in the Sacramento area.
Our lackadaisical timing fortuitously allowed us to arrive at The Porch just after noon on a Saturday, when the bustling restaurant had a table being cleared on the porch area itself, which we otherwise would have had to wait for with a dog in tow. Without hesitation, the host beat the waiter to our table with a small bow of cold water for Moe and presented us with Brunch menus and a extended list of bar and wine offerings. If you're brunching -- The Porch has to have what are some of the best variations on Bloody Marys in town -- and a killer Ramos Fizz that will rival those served at Sunnyside at Lake Tahoe. Also -- before the waiter got to our table -- we also had two complimentary nice squares of a moist date-nut bread as a "amuse-bouche" sent out to the table from the kitchen in anticipation of a potential wait.
As others on this site have pointed out -- anticipate a menu replete with a selection of high end variations of Southern-style classics and a few new original creations that the chefs at The Porch have perfected and should be instant favorites. This is a place that while you peruse the menu, you watch other diners plates being delivered to their tables and then redirect your attention to the menu for some potential reconsideration of your initial choices... this happened twice in our case.
I initially was determined to have the shrimp and grits simply based on the menu despcription and my craving for them -- but after having a second look at the options available and spotting the Brisket and Bisquit ($16) being served at the table adjacent to us -- it was a no brainer and probably the best change-up I have made in a long while. This is a version of eggs benedict, with two seriously fluffy white biscuits nestling a generous helping of mildly-sauced slices of BBQ brisket topped with two perfectly poached eggs and dressed with a kicked up red hollandaise. For an extra couple bucks, I had the option of having the home-fried potatoes subbed out with what were essentially deep-fried (home-made) sweet potato tots on the side -- which were enhanced by overflow of the hollandaise. An amazing plate from the first to the last bite, folks. I will be back for this one unless otherwise distracted by something new and appealing again.
The other change-up at the table was the choice to forgo the Andouille Scramble for one of the grass-fed Angus burgers ($15) that ventured within eyesight to another diner before we ordered. The size and presentation of the burger was very appealing -- and it was topped with a couple of beautifully slow-melted pieces of Brie and nice browned bacon, nicely dressed with butter lettuce and an end-of-season ripe tomato. This turned out to be one of those items where one's eyes may be bigger than their stomachs -- so be forewarned. Of course, with a four-legged dining companion under the table -- the residual burger didn't go to waste....
The Porch is not a what I would characterize as a "cheap eats" destination -- but what you are going to receive for your dollars is both a quantative and qualitative dining experience. I don't think you're going to leave hungry or disappointed.... anticipate at brunch that you're going to spend $40 for two for your food and a non-alcoholic accompanying drink -- and tag on your chosen libations at a rate of about $7 for the mimosas to $10-12 for the Marys and other hard liquor specialty cocktails -- which I will venture, were worth every penny per drop. Service here is attentive and friendly, although it appeared to not be the speediest when the restaurant is at peak service. Of course, depending on your attitude and need for urgency, who wants to be rushed from their table when you are being served good food in a pleasant environment? If it's a pleasant weather day -- we recommend waiting for an outside table to take in the foot traffic and experience the true heart of The Porch.
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