Today, I awakened with a strong urge for breakfast, so I headed down to Fishtown’s newest brunch spot, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie. Situated on the corner of E. Norris and Tulip Streets, theÂ restaurant is attractive and welcoming with a brick exterior, classic awningsÂ and open doors.
Entering Ida Mae’s, I found the open kitchen in the front of the restaurant full of activity. The front dining room features a counter seating approximately eight, the kitchen and 4 – 5 small tables ; the back features two smaller connected roomsÂ . Taking a seat at the bar (sorry, “counter” and “Irish” don’t seem to go together ) it was clear that the staff wasÂ preparing for a busy day.
OverÂ my morningÂ ”caffeine injection” I took a quick look at the menuÂ which features a variety of brunch standards.Â Among the notables were:
- Â Full Irish Breakfast (“2 Eggs, Irish bacon & sausage, roasted tomato, baked beans, white pudding, sauteed mushrooms, potato bread & soda bread”)
- Tofu Scramble (“Tofu mixed with spices and all the fresh veggies you could want with homefries and toast”)
- Huevos Rancheros (“Black beans, corn torilllas, salsa avocado, cheddar cheese, two sunny side up eggs and topped with sour cream”)
WhileÂ mulling over my choices, I had the opportunity to chat with one of Ida Mae’s owners Mary Kate as she prepared some of the day’s menu items. The opening has gone well and The City Paper expanded coverage of the restaurant from a brief mention toÂ a full restaurant review, which was a big source of excitement in the kitchen. Weekdays have been inconsistent, but weekendsÂ bring lines. Finally, reflecting on the lengthy 2 1/2 year planning period,Â weÂ agreed “better late than never.”
I quickly decided on theÂ Full Irish Breakfast and I wasn’t disappointed. The meal was hearty and satisfying without being overly elaborate. The Irish bacon and sausage were a real treat, but I must admit that I wasn’t too keen on the potato and soda bread – maybe it’s an acquired taste.
Although I enjoyed my meal, theÂ intimate atmosphere is what really makes this neighborhood brunch spot special. The open kitchen invites everyone in the front dining room to participate,Â just like being at home; this is not the type of place where you’d bury your nose in the morning paper… I thought the limited menu offered variety, especially for breakfast, but I was hoping for a few more interesting lunch choices. Â Regardless, with a number of vegetarian items and a willingnessÂ to accommodate “vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free lifestyles,” Ida Mae’s seems to have something for just about everyone. If youÂ want a good meal in a restaurant with “Philly Neighborhood Flava,” I’d say Ida Mae’s is a good choice.
Â Ida Mae’s Bruncherie is located at 2302 E. Norris St. in Fishtown. (215) 426-4209. Hours: Tues. – Sun. 7am – 3pm.
[Tags]Philadelphia, Philly, Fishtown, Irish Food, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie[/Tags]