Our first venture into Crisp Woodlands was just about a year ago today, when they first opened (April 2015). That meal was by invitation, but we've returned a number of times since then on our own accord. One meal we haven't had the pleasure of trying before today, however, was brunch. Have we mentioned before how we're not really morning people? Because I'm sure that we have. If you, like us, aren't really up for a meal when the sun comes up, that's perfectly alright with Crisp - their brunch menu is served until 3:00 PM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Since we were going for firsts, we decided to try a couple of dishes we might not ordinarily order. I'm usually a French Toast gal. He's usually an eggs, meat and potatoes guy. Not today, though.
Let me lead with this: to me, more than enough breakfast would consist of a (single) Belgian waffle, with perhaps some sliced strawberries and maybe one egg, scrambled. That being said, the Chicken and Waffle sandwich ($11), served with a generous portion of fries, is not only enough for two, depending on all appetites present, could easily feed four. Crisp's Fried Chicken & Waffle sandwich is a deep fried chicken breast, mozzarella cheese, over easy egg* and Texas hot sauce syrup, all sandwiched between two glorious, whole, Belgian waffles (*I opted for the egg on the side, scrambled - more on that later). This was my first chicken and waffles experience (I know!) and to put my pleasure in the experience as succinctly as possible, I'll tell you what I said at the moment I swallowed my first bite: it is so good it's stupid. No, seriously, you have to experience that sandwich. The waffles are baked (ironed?) to fluffy perfection, the tender chicken breast lightly breaded and fried just crispy enough, the mozzarella was just fresh and melty enough, and the Texas hot sauce/syrup just the right combination of spiciness and sweetness. See? "so good it's stupid" was far more succinct. You get the idea though, right? Also, of course the fries are wonderful, because they're hand-cut and well-seasoned, fried fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. I know because I managed to fit exactly six of them in before declaring myself stuffed.
I've never been a fan of eggs Benedict. To me, poached eggs are just... gross. Right up there with eggs over easy. Or fried eggs. Or eggs in general. Yes, I know that's not very "Foodie" of me, and yes, some of you will decide here and now that I might know a great deal less about good food than you once thought I did, but never you mind that. I'm sure there's plenty of foods that plenty of "Foodies" don't like, and for me, eggs are high on that list. ALL OF THAT ASIDE - I have actually tried eggs Benedict before, and am generally disappointed due to not only my deep-set dislike of the poached egg to begin with, but also eggs Benedict is an easy dish to not get right, mostly because of the hollandaise sauce. And the whole combination is just so rich, and the texture so... Alright, the point is, I usually hate eggs Benedict.
And I absolutely loved Crisp's Eggs Benedict. I would certainly order it again. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone. So all praise goes to Crisp, for putting their own spin on Eggs Benedict. Executive Chef Brian Stanek happened to be the one to deliver our meals, and he explained what makes their eggs Benedict so great: it's served on English muffins with two slices of prosciutto ham, two poached eggs and topped a sun dried tomato hollandaise, with a sprinkling of fresh basil. Crisp makes a sun dried tomato reduction using a similar technique to that used for Bearnaise sauce. The blending of flavors with that slight Italian spin on the whole dish is just amazing, and it is a brand new addition to the menu.
Since she decided to go with something completely different, I, too, decided to throw caution to the wind (or at least my cardiologist's advice) and order the Doughnut Burger ($12). This monstrously tall burger had a great blend of flavors and texture. The soft donut, the salty crispness of the bacon, the simply-seasoned beef, and the beautifully fried egg, all stacked one atop the next resulting in a towering, taste sensation. The two, lightly glazed doughnuts, crown and heel, top to bottom, were lightly grilled as many burger buns are. But while the donut is an interesting bread substitute, it is a bit of overkill for my taste buds. Between the Angus beef, cage free egg, and the smoked bacon, this breakfast sandwich is an excellent blend of flavors. Now, would I eat one every day? No, of course not. But "everything in moderation" most certainly allows for having another one of these sooner rather than later.
It is hard to find something to complain about when dining at Crisp, but since of course not every dining experience is a perfect "10" we do have one or two things to mention. First - the fresh fruit side. Please, please, please find a way to fill up a fruit cup without it being 99% Earth's most boring melons: cantaloupe and honeydew. There are plenty of other relatively inexpensive, always freshly available fruits for you to choose from that not only blend beautifully in the dish, but on the palate. Apples, bananas, (other) berries, clementines, grapes, pineapples and oranges spring readily to mind. Second - once someone has ordered coffee, please go ahead and bring them more than three sugar packets and two ounces of creamer.
Alright, that sums up the complaint portion of the review. We really can't recommend Crisp for brunch highly enough. The menu offers far more variety than covered here, and certainly won't disappoint. Those $2.50 Mimosas made with fresh-squeezed orange juice don't hurt, either. The staff is always friendly, from the moment you step in the door (hi, Dave!) to their sending you off with their thanks (well done, Mike!).
Crisp is located on Research Forest Drive, at the northeast corner of Research Forest Drive and Research Park Drive, just west of Lakeside Boulevard and a short three-minute drive from Restaurant Row at Hughes Landing.
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