On Saturday morning, while the rest of the night crowd was still sleeping off their hangovers that were earned in the vicinity the night before, J & I schlepped over to Chill Winston for brunch. Not to say I wasn’t nursing some significant brain mush of my own back to its regular viscosity either, which had led me to texting J at about 9:30am with something to the effect of need brunch. need meaty, greasy brunch.
Chill Winston is not a greasy spoon. In fact, if you’ve ever been there (which I’m sure most of you have), it’s a nice establishment. There are great couches which gives it the wonderful lounge feeling and a very well constructed, wide open area that has great ambiance at night. At night, it’s classy. In the morning, it’s fresh and clean, and on that occasion - fairly empty. We were the second table to have arrived.
Brunch is a simple affair - a one page menu lists it all. We ordered quickly and ate quickly.
We both got orange juice. In what is mostly a drinks lounge masquerading as a full restaurant the rest of the day, this revealed the minimal dedication to the hours sandwiched between breakfast (non-existent for those who have been imbibing the night before) and lunch (Saturday’s breakfast). What I mean to say is, we got orange concentrate in a (very nice) beer glass with a lot of ice. I’m not some kind of pedant for citrus authenticity or anything, especially not that early. It tasted like juice. That works.
Daily Benny: eggs benny with BISON! From what I remember I think the bison was from downstairs at Guilt and Co (incidentally, part of our evening prior to this meal). J said the bison was a bit dry on its own but the hollandaise was fantastic, and the eggs were poached perfectly. The bison tasted like roast beef, but just a touch gamier and with a bit more flavor. Really tasty.
I ordered the pancetta & wild mushroom skillet: pancetta, wild BC mushrooms, baby red potato, smoked goats’ gouda, fresh tomato and scallions. As I scouted the first bite with my fork, I was almost immediately disappointed to find that it was the type of skillet that had fluffy eggs. Not my kinda thing. I enjoy my protein strands mostly kept together without air in between… if you know what I mean. I half-heartedly ate to the 50-50 mark and decisively put my fork down and took the rest home, jealously wishing I had picked the eggs benny instead. The cast iron skillet was unforgivingly hot as well, and as we were in a bit of a rush, so neither eating quickly or enjoying my meal were in the cards. Le sigh.
I went home, staving off imminent neuronal meltdown without proper sleep, and so my alternative was to pick away at my leftovers in an attempt to get some energy. I just ate the eggs cold. And you know what? It was kind of magical. The pancetta was very salty but deliciously flavorful (however, if it were me, I would not have cubed the pancetta), the wild mushrooms were wonderfully earthy and bounced off the teeth, and the tomatoes were fresh and held sweet and slightly sour notes that held its own against the rich goat cheese. I polished the rest of the leftovers, pleasantly surprised at this turn of conclusions.
Chill Winston is not a brunch place, but they pulled it off pretty suavely. I think I still prefer the night crowd and ambiance, but now that I’ve seen its morning after face, I’m amenable to another brunch date at CW another time.