In a neighborhood full of colleges and universities, you might not expect to find much more in the way of dining besides fast food and coffee shops. However, there are several bright spots in the Oakland neighborhood serving up delicious, thoughtful cuisine- one being The Porch located in the beautiful Schenley Plaza in the heart of the neighborhood.
A Return Visit to The Porch for Brunch
We had been to The Porch several years ago but we decided to give it another visit during a recent visit to Oakland. We went for Sunday brunch and the place was packed with church goers, families, and groups of students.
Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm, and the menu consists of the usual suspects like omelets, a quiche du jour, and breakfast sandwiches as well as more lunch-focused fare like salads and pizzas. We decided to try a breakfast dish and a lunch dish, opting for the citrus rhubarb french toast and the bianca pizza.
The French Toast Was Hit or Miss, But The Pizza…
The citrus rhubarb french toast was a flavor explosion and had a lot going on. The french toast pieces were made not from regular old bread, but from dough that had been baked into classy cylinder shapes. Each piece had a different sort of filling- from rhubarb to citrus to cinnamon. The cinnamon piece was my favorite as it was so rich it was more like a cinnamon roll. Candied citrus pieces and figs decorated the top of each french toast piece and added a nice brightness and lightness to the otherwise heavy dish.
The only disappointments were that there really was very little mascarpone or syrup on the dish as I expected more from the menu description. Luckily, the pizza made up for any of the short comings from the french toast.
We've tried several of the wood-fired pizzas here, but the Bianca has got to be our favorite. It's a white pizza topped with a fig jam, goat cheese, arugula, and truffle oil. They never skimp on the jam, which acts as a sort of sauce on the pizza. The jam is more savory than sweet and provides a nice fruity complement to the creamy goat cheese and funkiness of the truffle oil. The delicious dough was more chewy than crispy and had a nice char on the underside.
The one downside to dining during the busy brunch hours was that service was a bit slow; it took close to ten minutes for the waiter to even acknowledge our presence after we sat down. I was also half way through my food before our waiter checked to see if we needed anything, meaning I had to eat half of my french toast with no syrup other than the drizzle that was on the plate.
There are many times where we can get past slow service at a restaurant, but this was sadly not one of them.
We will return to The Porch to try more in the future, but only when the restaurant is not too busy that service is hampered as it was during Sunday brunch.
The Porch is located at 221 Schenley Drive in Schenley Plaza in Oakland.
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