November 20, 2011

Brunch at FARMiCiA

To celebrate a friend's recent engagement (congrats J & M!), we made plans to meet up downtown for brunch.  Looking for a casual, not-too-busy spot with convenient parking options, A decided on FARMiCiA.  I've eaten there for dinner and loved the atmosphere and healthy, delicious fare.

On weekends, FARMiCiA serves breakfast for the early birds starting at 8:30 AM, but switches to a lengthy brunch menu at 10.  There were several open tables when we arrived a few minutes before noon and we quickly settled into the bright and open industrial-space-turned-country-farmhouse.


With so many great sounding options, we all struggled quite a bit to choose our entrees.  However, we quickly came to the agreement to split a starter- the trio of cheeses ($12.90).  Three types of cheese- one cow, one sheep, and one goat- are served with a pile of crispy baguette slices and a heap of fruit chutney.  The firm crumbles of salty sheep feta and the bacon-y smoked goat gouda were my favorites- perfect to eat in little bits by themselves, or smushed onto a piece of bread (anyone else terrible at actually spreading cheese?) with a dollop of the chutney.  The spicy and only slightly sweet chunks of dried apricots, apples, cherries, and raisins were balanced by a tart vinegar note- I couldn't ask for a more perfect complement to creamy cheese.

Goat, cow, sheep.

Overwhelmed by the rest of the menu, I kept it simple with lox and eggs ($12.50)- a vibrant yellow pile of buttery soft scrambled eggs under a blanket of smooth, smoky salmon.  Fresh slices of juicy tomato and two pieces of a seed-y wheat bread made for a "complete" meal.  Our entrees were served with a cute basket of ketchup and a super chunky strawberry jam (house-made?), the latter of which made for a great toast topper.  Though I typically choose more elaborate dishes when I dine out, this time keepin' it simple ended up being a great decision.

A ordered a sandwich- the hummus and avocado ($9)- served with a chopped veggie salad.  The sandwich was served on wedges of pita and included thickly sliced avocado, crisp tomato, and generous spreads of creamy hummus and artichoke tapenade.  Mixed greens topped with crunchy peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and a fresh herb vinaigrette made for a colorful and tasty centerpiece on the plate.  Unfortunately the dressing made one half of the sandwich a bit soggy- a light toast of the pita might have helped prevent this, as well as given some structure for ease of eating- it was slightly awkward to pick up.

The newly-engaged enjoyed equally tasty looking dishes- steak fajitas and a nova and cream cheese bagel sandwich served with a fresh fruit salad.

FARMiCiA was the perfect environment for catching up on proposal stories and wedding plans- the farm-fresh menu full of good eats only sweetened the deal.  Our sour-faced waitress was the only downside to the experience- although the food came out quickly and we were well-taken care of, a smile or two wouldn't hurt.  If you're looking for a hassle-free and relaxed (and affordable!) brunch with a dish or three that would satisfy any palate, keep FARMiCiA in mind!

15 S. 3rd Street

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