Last Saturday was one of those days you just dream about. . . . where you wake up, you have no pressing business, and you think "Hmmm, maybe we should go out for a leisurely brunch." So that's just what we decided to do.
But where should we go? Since we live in Vienna, we like to stay local. But even confining our search to the Town of Vienna meant we still had a lot of choices. Should we head to Bazin's? Maplewood Grill? Amphora? Breakfast burritos at Anita's? Patisseries & coffee at Silva's? Bagels at Panera?
All good options, but not this time. You see, every time we go to Panera, we peer across the street and into the windows at Maple Ave Restaurant and wish we had the time to sit down and have a really civilized meal. So that's what we did.
And boy are we glad we made that choice. A fabulous menu greeted us. At first glance, you might think the prices a bit high and the fare not that different from any other restaurant. But that's where you'd be wrong. Because every detail from the hand crafted cola, to the homemade mayo, to the French pressed coffee (a special brew from Caffe Amouri) to the gorgeous presentation was well worth it. We lingered and chatted and felt so thoroughly cared for that the rest of the day just went by in a dream. Seriously. It was THAT good.
I'm not a professional photographer, so my photos don't do justice, but here's what we enjoyed. My husband had the fried egg sandwich (with sliced Olli coppa, gruyere cheese, piquillo peppers) accompanied by killer home fries and a mustard vinaigrette salad. Mmmmmm!
I went the simple route with a panko crusted chicken sandwich with cheddar cheese & truffle mayo (that was to die for!) and seasoned fries. (If they had served an extra side of truffle mayo, I'd have dipped my fries for some extra goodness. But then they probably would have had to wheel me out!) This dish sounds simple, but the freshness of the organic ingredients, the seasoning and the execution made it simply spectacular.
Next time we go, we promised ourselves we would try the 6 course brunch tasting menu. It often includes an egg dish, a crepe, charcuterie, lunch plate, salad & dessert. It changes with the seasons, but based on my other meals there, I know it would be fabulous. AND they even have bottomless cocktails for $15 (mimosas, bloody marys & poinsettias). What's not to like?!
MAR (Maple Ave Restaurant) is MAR MAR MARVELOUS in my book and just another reason we we love living in Vienna. Here's to you Chef Tim Ma & General Manager Joey Hernandez. You guys rock!
(This edition of TheresNoPlaceLikeVienna.com was contributed by Christy Belt Grossman, Chief Operating Officer with The Belt Team. Christy has lived in Vienna since 1972 and enjoys the small town feel that Vienna has to offer !)