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Half and Half in Clayton Keeps Dining Divas Waiting for Brunch

The Dining Divas

By Lisa Kampeter

January tends to be the month when everyone has good intentions to kick bad habits.  A new year and a new you, they say.  Well, the Dining Divas are no different.

“I’m working less.”

“I’m going to eat healthier.”

“I’m giving up shopping.”

“I’m going to work out more.”

So “why then,” I was asked, “do we always kick off the new year with a brunch?”  Note to self.  Next year, January Dining Divas should be at a salad bar or a health spa.

The 2013 Dining Divas started the year with a brunch at Half and Half in Clayton.  I’d heard so many great things about the restaurant; I couldn’t wait to try it out myself.  What I wasn’t prepared for, but I should have been, was the hour waiting for a table.  They don’t take reservations so larger parties have a longer wait.  But even parties of 2 and 3 waited.  For as many parties that turn right back around once they heard about the wait, there were just as many that stuck it out.  That says something about the place.

Even as a non-coffee drinker, the aroma as you entered was very inviting.  You can step right up to the coffee bar and enjoy a mug as you wait.  Families, college students, young couples…all sorts of people like this hip breakfast and lunch hot spot.  The bright white walls with rich blue coffee mugs and antique mason jars had a comfortable, yet busy, at home feel.

Once we finally got seated, I was excited to hear orders of Blueberry Pancakes and Blackberry French Toast or Biscuits & Gravy and Cinnamon & Sugar Doughnuts. To my disappointment, those orders were just Diva dreams.  We kept hearing, “I’m going to eat healthier” in the backs of our minds.  So we skipped the heavy sugar and high carb options.

The Unadventurous Diva went for the Ham and Cheese Omelet, a safe choice.  The Patient Diva (who arrived early to get the Divas on the list) loved the Chorizo Quesadilla with eggs, pico de gallo, and cheese.  The surprise side of home fries may not have been on her weight loss plan, but after an hour of waiting for a table, she didn’t care.  The New Diva devoured the Veggie Hash that came topped with two sunny side up eggs.

We had a few skip brunch for lunch.  The Grilled Chicken on a brioche bun with avocado slaw was a popular choice.  The Health-Conscious Divas skipped the chips that came with their sandwich for tasty, fresh fruit.  The Turkey Club was a wise option for the Picky Diva.  She loved the combination of lettuce and tomatoes mixed with aioli dressing.  The thin and crispy chips melted in her mouth, and she didn’t have an ounce of guilt as she enjoyed them.

With the new year came new taxes.  We chuckled when one Diva so passionately spoke about the tax on those earning more than $450,000.  Did she win the lottery or has she been sidelining as a CEO in corporate America without us knowing?  We debated social security and illegal immigration.  And a few of us sighed in relief that we didn’t have to talk about politics and campaigning any more.

The only complaint in the group, aside for the wait, was, unfortunately, the coffee.  The coffee was good, but not so good for it to cost $3.50.  As one Diva mentioned, you can buy a bag of coffee from Starbucks and make several cups for that price.

Most of us agreed that we’d like to try Half and Half out again.  We wouldn’t wait that long.  Most likely, I’d go in a small group and go early.  The young crowd will still be in bed.  The hip crowd will think it’s trendy to do a late brunch.  And the older crowd won’t want to pay $3.50 for a cup of coffee.  For this non-coffee drinker, that’s really not an issue.  And instead of just dreaming about it, I will be ordering the doughnuts and French toast (maybe with a side of fruit just to make myself feel better.)


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