With all of the places to eat brunch in this city, how to choose? So after a scan of the menu on MenuPages, and remembering recent discussions here on Chowhounds, we went to Deborah.
The first things I noticed (other than the fact that a shop of some kind shares the same address as Deborah) was a) the use of red in the logo and inside the restaurant, which suprised me as I was thinking blue and green for some reason and b) this is the second restaurant I've been to in a row that uses additional words in its name to emphasize its mission. Last night it was Copper Chimney : Tasty Indian Food and now its Deborah : Life Love Food.
This is annoying.
Please people, don't add words to the name of your restaurant. It's sophomoric.
Anyway, thinking we'd be waiting (we arrived around 12:30) for a bit, we were pleasantly surprised to get a great 4 top in the front room right away. A "non-waiter" took our drink orders. Danna and I had a champagne-first-OJ-as-a-second-thought mimosa, which was quite nice compared to what you can often get. Donald stuck to coffee.
Today was all about brunch, so I neglected to even look at the lunch menu. Danna went for the Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwiches and Eggs (with bacon, cheese and two eggs and mesclun salad). Donald had the Rachero eggs (with crispy red pepper tortillas, fried eggs, black beans, pickled jalapeno, lettuce, tomato and potatoes topped with melted cheddar and sour cream). Danna got through most of both of her sandwiches and Donald's, which looked like a gigantic plate of nachos, was also well consumed, although the sheer volume of food made it impossible to finish.
I was stuck between the Duck Confit Hash (hand shredded roasted duck, garlic potatoes, topped with two eggs, herbed tomatoes) and Deborah's Shirred Eggs (roasted potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon, scallion, topped with eggs and "married" in the oven).
I went for Deborah's signature dish and when ordering, was incorrectly corrected by the waitress. I asked to have the shirred (shurd) eggs. Our waitress restated that they were "shired". Um. No. Look it up. I later heard (not to be pronounced "hired") the same waitress call back to the chef (its a tiny, open kitchen) for an order of "shired" eggs. Does nobody know how to pronounce them here?
Phonetics aside, the shirred eggs were very good. The potatoes, which are mashed and heavy, anchor the bowl that it comes in. The eggs, unfortunately, get overpowered by everything else that it comes with. There was no egg flavor whatsoever, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a better dish to nurse a hangover. I was not, however, nursing such a hangover, but I can imagine that this would be the perfect panacea for one.
We also ordered a side of sausage and honey-jalapeno corn bread that they make in-house. The sausage was very good and of a large portion (at least 6, large halves) and the cornbread, was decent, perhaps a bit too crumbly-like-polenta for me, but tasty.
Our overall experience at Deborah was good but not necessarily worth returning to with the abundance of brunch options in the city. The food, service and ambience were great for what the three of us were looking for in a Sunday brunch before shopping. Which, in hindsight, is not a recommended activity after eating at Deborah. The food is VERY filling, and trying on clothes was not an enjoyable affair.
Go at least once, but don't feel required to be a repeat customer.