Sunday, 16 October 2011

Review - The Jericho Cafe

I recall a stupid conversation that my contrary friend, my earnest friend and I were having on the walk back from Port Meadow in Oxford. I was asking them about whether they DO things with their partners. As in, activities. Yeah, it was a really stupid conversation but I was worried that people would think I was weird for not doing activities and shit. From this conversation, we ascertained that Earnest likes to do activities (go for walks etc) whereas Contrary was happy doing nothing. I'm probably more in the latter camp because I hate the cinema (IT'S NOT THAT WEIRD) but I do like going out to eat so that happens quite a lot. Anyway, the reason that this is (tangentially) relevant is because this last weekend, I decided to experiment by Doing Things with my non-friend. I didn't want to stray too far out of my comfort zone so the Activities often involved eating too. But in a more structured, activity-like way. Brunch in particular always seems like more of an Activity than other meals so we tried that.

In my mind, going to brunch will always be a grown up thing to do. And I LOVE that about it: the whole ceremony of deciding to 'go out for breakfast' and then taking a nice walk in the crisp weather followed by food and weekend papers. Obviously I am aware that in reality, people choose to go for brunch because they have very little time to go for walks and read life & style pages in the papers in the week because they're busy making money to finance said brunch. But I still like to entertain the idea that when I see people out for brunch, I'm seeing but one snippet of their perfect, serene lives. I don't think I've ever written anything more bourgeois. I also don't think I'm using bourgeois in the right context. Anyway, this ideal is helpfully upheld by the existence of Jericho, a 'kooky', 'bohemian' 'hangout' for 'yuppies' in Oxford. I don't know if it is actually any of those things or even if it tries to be but it has lots of very good restaurants and has the added advantage of being on the other side of town and so facilitates escaping college/essays/life. It was a toss up between Jericho Tavern and Jericho Cafe. The Cafe prevailed because I'd never been there before. 
Correct choice - although I've never had brunch at the Jericho Tavern, the quality of food at the Cafe just pipped the very good food of the Tavern to the post. And it's slightly cheaper. Cafe breakfast: £7.25 for sausage, bacon (which I swapped for another sausage), toast, beans, mushrooms, eggs and a hot drink. My friend had scrambled eggs on toast with roasted red peppers with a side of two veggie sausages. Food envy again: the veggie sausages were the best I've ever seen/tasted and I've made a mental note to call and ask where they're from tomorrow. Not that the meat ones were at all lacking - succulent, not too salty and porky. None of that disguising the taste of the meat with other things. The scrambled eggs were ALMOST there but just a little bit overdone for my liking. But still delicious - not like the hardened mess that I 'enjoyed' at Patisserie Valerie a couple of weeks ago. The mushrooms, however, were perfect. None of that weird wateriness that seems to be the most frequent gripe I have with breakfast mushrooms. Beautiful. I must also add that my experience may be coloured by the fact that I had my first ever sip of Rio at this brunch and since then, things have seemed brighter. I can't believe I went this long without having ever tried it.

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