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February 17, 2009

Best Bites: Chef's Corner Brunch

Chef's Corner Café & Bakery

2121 Essex Road, Williston, 878-5524

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but as far as I'm concerned, you should judge a brunch joint by its eggs Benedict. In one fell swoop, the dish allows a critical diner to determine the quality of an eatery's bread, evaluate its preparation of a (slightly) tricky classic sauce, and see whether or not the staff has the perspicacity to poach eggs until the quivery, opaque exterior surrounds a burst of hot golden yolk. 

That's why, on many a Sunday morning, I find myself at Chef’s Corner Café & Bakery in Williston, staring down a goggling pair of oeufs topped with creamy, tangy and delicious hollandaise.

The big question is, "what's underneath?" Each week, in addition to the classic, a smoked salmon riff and vegetarian Florentine, chef-owners Jozef Harrewyn and Scott Sorrell dream up a crazy special — one week it was an excellent Teutonic version with sausages and sauerkraut.

Part of the fun is guessing what they’ll do on special occasions. For Valentine’s Day they swathed a beef tenderloin and mushroom stew in heart-shaped puff pastry shells, and topped 'em with the usual accouterments. Will St. Patrick’s day mean corned beef and cabbage Benedict? I’m hoping so. 

Not into the Benny? There are plenty of other delicious dishes to choose from, including light, fluffy quiche, Belgian waffles, French toast, and creative salads from the deli case: I've enjoyed their corn salad with cherry tomatoes as well as a bacon and broccoli combo.

No matter what you had for brunch, make sure to take home a few pastries, which range from an airy lemon Diplomat cake to decadent chocolate truffles.

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