Good Morning Gators!
Mortar and Pestle opens at the late hour of 8am and of course we were waiting out on the sidewalk for them to open.
They unlocked the door on time so in we go.
The place is pretty cute and pretty small. It must be quite a wait on the weekends. The decor is very woody. A lot of distressed wood and wood accents in no particular architectural style. Artwork and antique stained glass dot the walls. The music was medium upbeat Jazz music. 8 The perimiter chairs were small, metal, and not fat friendly. There is a long high top community table running down the center of the place. This is a double whammy for me. I really dislike community AND high top tables. 4
We are seated in the center of the restaurant against the wall but requested to be moved to a table by the window. We were obliged.
The reclaimed wood style tables are beautiful and the fresh flowers are a nice touch.
Of course Coffee and water was in order. The Coffee supplier is Big Shoulders Coffee. It was good and it was strong 8 This is one of those restaurants that doesn’t want to poison you with artificial sweeteners so much to my dismay the only sweeter on the table was a couple forms of sugar.
The first thing I noticed on the table was that there wasn’t any standard size spoons. The setup included an espresso spoon. I found this a bit odd. This is the first time I’ve seen this.
The menu is relatively short with 7 breakfast entrees at the time of this writing. Most of you know I’m ok with that.
I generally don’t order an appetizer but they had Avocado toast which even though is getting a bit tired, I do like it if it’s seasoned right. I ordered up.
Lemon, Cumin, Aleppo Pepper Flakes, Smoked Salt, Chives
The toast was only toasted on the top side. 4 I’m not sure if this was a textural decision by the chef or a toaster malfunction. In spite of that it was tasty, creamy, citrusy, seasoned well and a touch of heat. Hey it’s Avocado on toast. Good knife cuts Chef. A tad bit of finishing salt would have been good here. 8
ALASKAN KING CRAB BENEDICT
Poached Egg, Sriracha Hollandaise, Watercress, English Muffin
Crab Benedict? Everybody has one. This one was good. The Hollandaise was on point. Creamy, Smooth, Tangy, with a touch of heat. 9 The King Crab was unadulterated which was fine with me. King Crabalicious. 9 The poached eggs were near perfect. 9 The English Muffin was warm but un toasted. UGH. There really is no excuse for serving an un toasted Muffin. 4 This entree was served unadorned. for 17 bucks you would think you would get some spuds. Although I’ve had dozens of Crab Benedicts, this was a standout 9
FOIE GRAS AND EGGS
Soft Scramble, Truffle Carpaccio, Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche, Chive, Toast
My Liver Meter is registering High
Most of you know that aren’t too many items on my Do Not Eat list. Liver IS on that list. Oh what the Hell. There are not a lot of things on the menu and this is something that I haven’t had before. Bring It.
The Foie. The liver flavor is not too forward. If you get a good combination bite it’s actually pretty good. The scrambled eggs were pleasantly soft and supple. This is unusual for restaurant scrambled Eggs. 8 Black Truffle. Black Truffles and Scrambled Eggs are a classic combo. The onions were well caramelized. This was an unusual but delicious dish. It was better than I expected. 8 OH and the toast? It was uninspired and un buttered. At least it’s toasted. (See the rant page) 5 The house made jam was good though. 8
Mortar and Pestle Chicago
Foie Gras and Eggs
Brioche, Custard Royale, Foie Gras Torchon, Bacon Powdered Sugar
YES I risked ordering french toast. It’s a signature dish for them.
While we were waiting The chef owner Steven Paul brought over some Chipotle Deviled Eggs with house made Chicharrones to try. How nice was that? I love Deviled Eggs and these were a great bite. Smokey, Spicy, Silky and a touch of crunchy texture from the Chicharrones. 8 Thanks Chef!
OK. French toast has arrived. WOW! Impressive. The first thought that went through my head was that it was NOT going to be custardy eggy French Toast Joy on the inside but just dry bread.
Unfortunately for me I was right. It WAS just unsoaked bread on the inside. Very disappointing.
Of course you know they are going to get “The Link”
This FT is a 5 The Syrup is the real deal though 9
Well Gators that puts a lid on it. An overall good visit. The service was a little lacking but the food was mostly delicious. We got to share some bites with a couple of nice ladies at the next table and of course I forgot to ask them their names.
As for me I’m on to my next adventure!
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