The wild brunch
Sunday brunch at Square One Eatery, and the place was busy. Still, my family group was seated right away and served locally roasted coffee ($3.50) in nice, big mugs. There was no wait to order, and my coffee mug never ran dry. Rather than the usual crayons, my grandson was presented with a choice of brand-new, die-cast toy cars. He seemed pretty satisfied with his selection, and I was impressed by the generous gesture.
My son and I split a bowl of the day’s soup (turkey vegetable, $6), served almost as fast as the coffee. The broth had plenty of black pepper—improved with a couple of dashes of salt—and plenty of carrot, celery, potato and cubed turkey meat. Nothing fancy, but we were glad to have something to sup on while waiting quite a while for our plates. The place is still pretty new—and it was a busy Sunday morning—so hopefully the kitchen’s pace will soon match that of the servers.
My grandson’s plain waffle ($7.99) was served with butter and warm syrup on the side, and a couple of strips of bacon. The syrup wasn’t used, but his dad helped him add butter to the warm, crispy “pancake with squares.” The bacon was crispy, but pretty cold by comparison. The boy didn’t seem to mind.
A Spanish omelet ($9) filled with sauteed chorizo, scallion, bell pepper, jalapeno, pepper jack cheese and cilantro filled half its plate, topped with plenty of ripe avocado and a side of housemade, medium-spicy salsa. A big pile of decent hash browns filled out the plate, though we never received the included sourdough toast. Honestly, we were so busy digging in we forgot to ask about it. The fried chorizo was really good, and there was a ton of stretchy melted cheese.
The menu defined “magambo” as meaning “big with attitude.” Although the magambo burger’s ($12.50) combination of a beef brisket and short rib patty with sliced avocado, bacon, pepper jack cheese and housemade spicy aioli certainly brought the attitude, it seemed a little on the small side to me. Or maybe I just wished there was a lot more of it to enjoy. The sweet potato puffs ordered were substituted with hot, crispy, delicious orange fries, dusted in a bit of parmesan or cotija cheese. I’ve never been terribly fond of sweet potato anything, but there’s a first time for everything.
As a creature of habit, I had to try the chicken fried steak ($14) served with “Dad’s taters” and a pair of over medium eggs. As with the omelet, toast apparently got lost on the way. The buttermilk breaded piece of cube steak tasted pretty good, but was unfortunately on the tough side. I had to use a knife, and there was a fair amount of chewing involved. The chorizo gravy was acceptable, but lacked the spicy, sausage punch of the omelet. The egg yolks were perfect, but the bottom of both eggs was very crunchy, also requiring a knife. What the eggs and steak lacked, the spuds delivered. An enormous pile of diced, perfectly seasoned potatoes, each piece a crispy, fluffy little gem.
Though there were some issues, these folks have the makings of an enjoyable spot for family brunch. I’m sure my grandson won’t mind a return visit.