Dining Divas do Brunch at Roster’s
By Lisa Kampeter
If you’re like me, when you think of a rooster, you think of crowing. You think of an annoying male chicken whose morning cry awakens even the heaviest of sleepers. You may even think of him strutting his stuff, marking his territory. Some may consider it romantic. He stands guard protecting his flock, crowing loudly if predators approach. I find it cocky, no pun intended.
Well, this month, the Dining Divas tried out what has become a downtown staple, Rooster, a breakfast and brunch restaurant. Every January, we kick off the New Year with a brunch. Like most January Divas, we had a larger group, and just like last year, we had to wait. For some reason, many of the breakfast spots we’ve tried in the past do not take reservations. After my wait for over an hour last year, I swore we would not go to another restaurant that did not take reservations, but, oops, I did it again. Rooster’s website said they would be happy to accommodate larger groups with call-ahead seating. When I called ahead, they barely acknowledged me.
Our group does not get to see each other very often. When we get together, we like to maximize our quality time together, and that doesn’t mean crammed next to a bar along with 30 other people. Our Newlywed Diva took this time to share her wedding album with the group, but several of us missed out as we didn’t have the space to peruse the book. And at our table wasn’t an option. We were crammed together there too. As the Descriptive Diva said, the place “could use a bit of softness”.
Let me stress, the wait was under 30 minutes which was great compared to last year, but I can’t understand why restaurants don’t take reservations. Are they cocky?
We were glad to see our Annual Diva. She joins us every January, and this year she entertained us with tales from her Christmas cruise. She did not disappoint us with pointy, high-heeled shoes, an essential part of her wardrobe. We hackle her about her dressing for class, not comfort, even in the worse conditions.
The Adventurous Divas also went on a cruise before the holidays, and even though it was quite an adventure for the Jet Setting Diva as she missed her flight to Europe, she was still able to make it to the ship and enjoy a holiday getaway of which we are all envious.
Like a rooster in the morning, Rooster was loud. The high-exposed ceilings made it impossible to hear conversations at our table unless the person to whom you were talking was sitting directly across from you. Fortunately, I didn’t miss out on the Enlightening Diva’s update on her father’s rehabilitation and release from the hospital. Three sisters in control of their very social, very outgoing father’s well-being is entertainment at its best. I’m not sure whom I’d bet on with that fight.
A good cocktail helps calm the nerves, especially with a crowd testing your patience. Once seated, a few Divas tried some typical brunch beverages. The Tipsy Nonnie Mimosa got the Light-Weight Diva tipsy after a few sips. The Bloody Mary disappeared quickly from both the Drinking Diva and the Soda-Preferred Diva.
The Slinger came highly recommended by another table. Our fabulous waiter Jere did a fantastic job of describing the dishes and also convinced a few in the group to try it. It was served with andouille sausage, breakfast potatoes, eggs, and sausage gravy over bread. The Bland Diva thought the sausage gave it too much of a kick, but the others who ordered it thought it was a delicious twist on a typical slinger. Unfortunately, their meals could have been warmer.
Almost anything you want can be served in a crepe. The Spiced Black Bean Crepe served with an egg, black beans, cheddar, and salsa had just enough seasoning, but another egg would have been nice. It didn’t seem like a breakfast dish as the beans overpowered the one egg. I’d consider it a delicious healthy alternative (although the crepe probably isn’t too healthy).
Another “healthy” alternative is the Fruit Crepe with mixed berries, crème fraiche, ricotta, and basil. The Surprised Diva never would have expected chopped basil with fruit to be tasty, but it really was. The Bacon and Goat Cheese Crepe was tasty. too. It was flavorful and delicious.
The Tipsy Diva enjoyed the Pulled Pork Crepe with cheddar cheese, apples, and apple cider for dipping, but the amount of filling was lacking compared to the size of the crepe. The Fruit Crepe was the same way. The apples and cheddar served with the Missouri-made German-style Sausage Crepe complimented each other well. Dipping it in the apple cider brings all the flavors together nicely.
If you order the Spicy Chicken Crepe with fontina and arugula, don’t expect it to be spicy. Per Jere the waiter’s recommendation, adding the guacamole and bacon helps complete this dish. And the Newlywed Diva loved it.
Even before arriving at Rooster, the Persuasive Diva had convinced several of us to try the Banana Nutella Crepe for dessert. We weren’t disappointed. The Roasted Apple Crepe with cinnamon and brown sugar along with a scoop of ice cream definitely needed the side of apple cider for dipping. Compared to the Nutella Crepe, it was bland. But really, who doesn’t love any dessert at breakfast!
For a group our size, like a rooster, the restaurant was a little annoying. But it serves unique breakfasts and is a place that several of us will return to when we’re in a smaller group. And for those that had to pay to park across the street (unlike those of us who were smart enough to park in empty lots without attendants), breakfast can be cheaper. But every once in a while, it’s nice to try something different. Even if it’s a little cocky.
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