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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Top Restaurant

Top Restaurant

Great expectations lead to brunch let-down

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

I don't think there is any meal that makes me as giddy as Sunday brunch. I love a good lunch outing, and I look forward to intimate dinners and making food for a good friend or my boyfriend, but brunch on Sunday makes the dining out experience truly enjoyable. In all my expectation and desire for a perfect brunch outing, I may have set the bar too high at my latest brunch, however, I think it may have been more than too-high expectations in regards to a recent Sunday brunch at The Top restaurant downtown that left me very dissatisfied.

062614TopSFI have seen people wait in a line out the door to dine at The Top, and I have heard great things about the food. A friend's invite to accompany her and another friend to this bustling downtown hotspot provided a double dose of excitement: trying a new place for the first time and trying it for brunch on a Sunday.

I was leary of the possibility of a long wait due to having seen those lines of hungry patrons at The Top door, but we were seated immediately and the wait staff was pretty attentive throughout. 

This downtown restaurant has something for everyone. They have expanded the bar and create some delicious drinks. There is all kinds of fun kitch and memorabilia in the dining room and in the bathrooms. Where else can you see an old fashioned oil lamp, self help books from the 50s, and baseball trading cards all used as decor? Plus, check out the amazing collection of lamps.

Per my usual indecisive dilemma at restaurants, I wanted to try too many things to narrow down the options to just one thing. Luckily, one of my dining companions, Ariel, shared my struggle over the desire for a sweet and salty element to each meal and offered to order the Crabby Benedict, the top choice on my Benedict list, if I ordered the Crème Brulee French Toast so we could split both meals in half.

062714Topbrunch2While Barbara happily munched away on a bigger-than-her-face breakfast burrito, complete with a slathering of green guacamole atop the creation, Ariel and I were ready to dive into our half-portions of each dish. Unlike Barbara, I was not as enthused about what was presented. I wish I had positive things to say of the meal.

The three, moderately-sized slices of Crème Brulee French Toast were extremely sweet, which I'm sure was the point. The main disappointment, however, was that the inch-thick bread came already drenched in syrup. If there is one thing I cannot stand with my breakfast pastries, it is not being able to control the rate at which they are dunked in syrup. I felt like I had to eat the French Toast at record speed to avoid a soggy dish.  No number of berries — which were very scarce on the plate as well — could salvage it.

06271Topbrunch3It could be the sheer number of varied brunch spots that has turned my taste buds into finally-tuned machines or perhaps it is the number of eggs Benedict dishes I have consumed, but the Crabby Benedict was very underwhelming. The idea of crab resting over a biscuit-type bed and generously blanketed with artichoke, tomato, and spinach underneath a poached egg just ready to pop seemed like a taste explosion! Not to mention I am a sucker for a good hollandaise sauce. However, after just one bite I could tell the aforementioned ingredients were bland and subpar. Not even my go-to spice, pepper, could revive this dish. The egg wasn't even runny, which would have given the dish a nice coat of flavor, especially considering the sparse hollandaise.

I am surprised at the long lines and crowded tables at the Top on Sundays, their Sunday brunch being the only non-dinner meal served there. That could also contribute to my less-than-stellar brunch experience since it is not their focus, but I imagine it is their popularity that draws people to try the brunch as well.

I have to report that despite the unusually timely service for The Top, I walked away from this brunch extremely dissatisfied. I hope the other Sunday brunch dishes have more effort put into them then mine.

The Pluses and Minuses of the The Top Restaurant

The Top Restaurant + indicators : Downtown-located, fun nighttime bar, decent service this brunch (despite more negative reviews of this)

The Top Restaurant - indicators: Subpar brunch food, almost too dim of lighting, previous reviews left expectations too high

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Last modified onMonday, 12 January 2015 05:46

1 comment

  • Dennis Brown
    Dennis Brown Friday, 27 June 2014 09:21 Comment Link

    We had brunch outside The Top Restaurant one day and it was wonderful! I recommend eating brunches outside if the weather cooperates.

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