Canon Enters The Brunch Scene

Canon is best known for its evening fare and their solid cocktails. This past weekend Canon entered the brunch scene and I stopped in to check it out on Sunday.

I was immediately greeted with a cinnamon breadstick and a Ginger Beet Mimosa. I love how striking beet juice is!  

The menu is short and sweet. The thing that caught my eye was that they have two hash options on the menu. 

How to choose? Well, I asked. "The Pork Belly has has more meat," I was told and it's "hashier." I was actually looking for a more traditional hash so that sounded great. How can you go wrong with Pork Belly?

The dish arrived quickly and with two beautifully poached eggs. Below the eggs was pork belly done right. Pork belly used to be nothing more than a way to add some flavor to other things like soup. These days it show up as the main act. The name is fitting since it comes from the underside of a pig. It's the cut that becomes bacon when cured and sliced. Its rich layers of fat cushion the layers of meat lending itself to the creativity of the chef. Pork belly has made appearances in dishes sliced, cubed, squared and has been treated to a variety of flavor combinations. While it can be quite forgiving some places have tended to over-cook it and it loses its moist tenderness. This was not the case with Canon's pork belly. It had a good crispness to the meat with subtle hints of a bourbon-cider glaze and the rich fatty layers were not lost. Let me just say that you get pork belly when you wish to indulge.

I broke the poached eggs to free the golden stream of yolk over the well-seasoned potatoes. The slightly sweet and tart green apple was a good contrast to the saltiness.

I will be back to try the braised lamb hash!

Featured restaurant:

Canon

www.canonseattle.com

Open 5pm-2am daily
Open 10am-2pm for brunch on Saturday & Sunday 

An Awkward Rumba - When Protocol Gets In The Way of Good Service

Having worked in the service industry, I understand you have to run a tight ship. Everyone must know their role and they must do it well. Having that kind of clarity helps with efficiency and quality of service. There are times when sticking to strict protocol creates a less than desirable customer experience.

A few nights ago, I decided to give Rumba happy hour a try. I stopped in and while they were busy, they were definitely not packed. I sat at the bar and a server handed me the menu, the bartender made eye contact and I looked through the menu for a few minutes. After making a choice I looked up and that's when the awkward dance began. The server that left me the menu passed me by several times helping others that walked in and checked in with those that were already eating. The bartender was busy making drinks and took no pause.  My glance was directed first to the server then to the bartender several times.  A couple of ladies sitting next to me started getting worried for me.  Then they started to comment about how terrible it was that no one was taking my order.

You see, what I believe happened is that the server felt it was the bartender's job to take my order.  The bartender continued to stay busy and didn't even take a moment to say that he would help me in a minute and I was thoroughly confused!  What's worse is that at one point the server had nothing to do and she stood by me with her back towards me and leaned on the counter.

I won't blacklist Rumba, but it will be a while before I return. I liked Rumba and was disappointed.  I do know others would not be so patient. In short, I do think that everyone should know who does what but equally important they should keep the customer informed even if it means a bit of waiting.  Even more important, it would be good to ensure they feel empowered to make decisions that will ultimately make for great customer experiences. The server standing by me could have broken from her place and taken my order if the bartender was busy.

An Exhibit-Worthy Cocktail

This Wednesday 10/6 from 5-6pm: Mix a little art with a creative drink and small bites at TASTE Restaurant and Events.

Make plans to welcome a new exhibit by local Japanese-born Etsuko Ichikawa. Ichikawa moved to Seattle back in 1993 and
once worked as a studio assistant for Dale Chihuly prior to becoming a full time artist.

Taste Restaurant will be hosting the opening reception. The TASTE bartenders create a new cocktail for each art installation. For Etsuko Ichikawa’s exhibit, bartenders, Duncan & Inga, created:

The Wabi Sabi cocktail
1/3 ounce of Balsamic Gastrique
1/4 ounce of Pomegranate syrup
1 bottle of Zipang Gekkeikan

This cocktail will be beautifully presented in a glass that is painted with balsamic reduction. A splash of pomegranate syrup and the addition of sparkling sake mingle into an effect that lifts the gastrique off the glass into a random design. This inspired cocktail brilliantly mimics the images in Etsuko’s work.

Executive Chef Craig Hetherington is planning some delicious bites to compliment the cocktail.

Space is limited. RSVP today! Call 206.903.5291 or email tasterestaurant@tastesam.com

Learn more about Etsuko Ichikawa in this interview she did about one of her installations:

Choose My Brunch Adventure: Cafe Venus

On weekends I like to relax and often I leave the breakfast/brunch-making to the skilled hand of others. Sometimes I even let others choose where to go by opening it up to my FB & Twitter friends to make suggestions.

Today it's my choice and I picked one of my favorite ultra casual spot near Capitol Hill. It's been about a month since I've been here and today I see a new menu and find out there has been a change in ownership... uh-oh. This may not be a good thing.