Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hom is Where the Heart Is: Brunch in a Boutique

*Review as seen on BrooklynExposed.com


Is it an apothecary? Is it a spa? A boutique? A cafe? Hom is all of these things, and then some. Located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, this shop selling artisan goods like sweet smelling candles, rustic furniture, and locally hand-crafted jewelry, is a hidden brunch gem. While the store is eight years old, the cafe has only been open for three years, starting out as a secondary appendage to draw customers to the retail store. Now it seems the buzz of this exquisite eatery has a draw all its own.

Back Cafe


"Moroccan" outdoor seating
Partners in life and in business, the owners divide and conquer: Sal runs the business and Daymein runs the kitchen, literally. If you make your way to the back of the decorated store, you will spot Daymein (a self-taught chef from the South) cooking his heart out in the open kitchen that is the heart of this quaint six-table cafe. The pair could not have been a more jovial presence, their ecstatic energy exploding onto every inch of their Hom.


White & Red Sangria

Upon arrival, my guest and I were greeted with smiles, and two complimentary sangrias: Sal’s specialty according to Sal. Which would we like, red or white? Why not both? And both were refreshingly sweet, relieving the dew that dripped down our temples on this hot summer day. (The latter being the only reason we did not brunch “al fresco” in their adorably adorned outdoor patio.)

The sangrias sufficiently wet our palate, but also available were an assortment of iced teas with combinations like ginger lemon and blackberry mint. As for the brunch menu that constantly changes to Daymein’’s crafty whim; keep it minimal, keep it simple, keep it fresh. With only five dishes all set at the affordable price of $12.95, one would think choosing would be easier. But after tempting deliberation, the “Green Eggs & Ham,” and the “Chicken Paradise Salad” were in order.

Bomb Bread Basket
But before the mains came, a bread basket of delicious pickings accompanied by sweet blueberry jam and a chunk of fresh butter graced the table. The goods, made by the owner’s mother and which varied table to table, consisted of Irish soda bread dimpled with golden and black raisins and two kinds of corn bread mini-muffins. Embrace the salivating that will commence as a result of the aroma of these baked breads.


Omelet Perfection


Either I am an expert food-orderer (which would be a hefty claim), or you can’t go wrong with any of Hom’s selections. Both were impressively outstanding. What could have been a run-of-the-mill omelet with boring ham and flavorless spinach, was instead a beautifully presented pressed egg square with just enough Swiss cheese to bind but not be a gooey mess, and an incorporated homemade pesto sauce that lingered on the tongue. The ham was crisp and sweet and the mushrooms achieved that melt in-your-mouth quality. Plated with freshly-cut fruit and two slices of whole-wheat toast, this sizable portion was egg-perfection.

Tropical Chicken Salad

The salad, served in a deep canoe bowl, was a delightful mix of tropical fruits, shaved coconut, and grilled chicken chunks atop mixed greens with a dangerously delicious dressing (whose top-secret ingredients I will not disclose as per Daymein’s wishes). I will divulge that it has maple syrup in a complex combination that is unlike anything you have ever tasted. Your will lick your lips many times over.

Also on the menu, but not on our table, were Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, Huevos Rancheros, and a BLT Fried Egg & Cheese sandwich. I leave those - or whatever new creations are offered -  for you to savor when you make your way Hom.