The Skeptical Diner: butter bakery and cafe

After a series of promising-looking walk-bys, the wife and I decided it was finally time to investigate butter, the casually chic, aggressively lowercase hipster bakery at Grand at 36th.

As an ill-shaven, slightly paunchy, snarky T-shirt-wearing kind of dude, I figured this would be my kind of brunch joint. There’s even a mural in various shades of brown, light blue and white — practically the thirty-something WiFi addict’s national colors.

Forty-five minutes later, sans food or even a coffee refill, it was time to re-assess.

“I,” I declared courageously to Becca, “am going to complain about this on the Internet.”

The official explanation was that the place was “swamped,” but this was clearly bunk; the smallish cafe was at ninety-percent capacity at most, staffers were hanging around in the classic Chatty Staffer Knot behind the counter, and at least one of them went on break during the not-particularly hectic rush.

And after all the wait? The food was pretty good. Biscuits and gravy (one of my newest hobbies/obsessions) were well executed. Big fluffy biscuits were swamped with a relatively light (and surprisingly citrus-accented) gravy. My one complaint would be that the sausage taste and seasoning actually got somewhat lost, but if you’re going to err in one direction or another, going lighter is definitely preferred.

Migas (a Latin-style egg and cheese dish similar in shape, in this case, to a pancake) were also well executed, sporting nicely caramelized onions and a thick, tasty sheen of cheddar. The salsa was forgettable at best, but that’s par for the course, and easily scrape-offable.

Overall? Probably not a bad bet when the crowds are lighter, or for their baked goods, such as the delectable-looking eclairs. And, hell, if you don’t have 45 minutes to kill, what are you doing going out for Sunday brunch?

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