Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Cardinal 05-12-2012

Location: 234 E 4th St.
Time: 2:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

Feelings: Dining out with a toddler is always a challenge, but we seemed to have figured out what makes CK dine quietly: Outdoor seating, delicious artisan bread, blasting music and dashing young servers. At The Cardinal, the North Carolina style comfort food joint in East Village, CK sat rather quietly throughout the brunch while flirting with our pretty waitress.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is quite charming with the quintessential East Village low key vibe.  It was also fun that they were playing all the late 90's hip hop hits. With Southern food and 90's hip hop, I felt I was back in my college days in Florida. All we needed was sweet tea.

Nothing on the brunch menu is close to anything remotely healthy. You will not find salads or fruit cups here. But all the flavors here are clean and polished with fresh, hearty ingredients. The portion they offer is also extremely large. It is no wonder they offer no appetizers here. I actually ate my sweet potato pancakes ($13 with pecan butter) for three days straight--it was that big. However, if you do crave appetizers, they have sides like biscuits, home fries and grits available.

RB's pork chops and eggs were quite hearty and tasty. The porkchops were well cooked and seasoned, and smothered in 'red eye gravy' infused with coffee, offering a very complex and interesting component to the meal. The strip of bacon that lay on top of the chops was sinful and delicious.

The Cardinal is famous for the beauty of the meats: Crispy free-range chicken, juicy grass fed beef, and heritage pork and bacon. If you are a devoted carnivore who enjoys simply good barbecue and Southern flavor, you will be pleased by the meat success The Cardinal offers. And for vegetarians like myself, there are plenty of fluffy, dense pancakes and biscuits to go around.

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