Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Brunch Bunch at Creo

Woo hoo!!! It's the weekend!

So I stay up late fighting the forces of evil (it's coming into zombie and vampire season so I've been busier than usual lately), then I spend all the next morning at the gym because I have to stay fit and I need to get a life, and end up starved and grumpy.  You too???  What was that? What did you say?? Did someone say brunch???

The space is modern, bright, and airy. 
Zena, Goddess of Fire, was invited to take on the new brunch menu at Creo, located at the corner of Stuyvesant Plaza on Western Avenue in Colonie. I showered, tried to make myself presentable (no tights or cape), grabbed a friend, zipped over to the restaurant, and settled into what was one of the most wonderful Saturdays I can remember in a really really long time.

For starters the staff were lovely - we were greeted at the door, shook hands, and were settled into a cozy booth. The restaurant is lovely - bright, light, clean, airy and chic. OK I felt that way too - it's nice to be treated as a guest of honor. Grumpy Zena had just exited the building.

For starters again I was immediately informed that they have a brunch special: $15 for unlimited Bloody Marys. If you've been paying attention you all KNOW I'm totally all over that idea, but I declined (this time).  The Bacon Bloody Mary ($10) was heady with horseradish, spicy, and smooth with just a hint of bacon in the drink. I was told that a shot of what I think was Mama Walker's Bacon Liqueur was in there - total weirdness, but it was very very tasty.

I did not need my XRay vision to see the horseradish in this Bacon Bloody Mary
The menu is very creative - think American gastro with a touch of world fusion. A few popular carryovers were there (e.g., the Smoked Trout Salad, the Creo Burger, Kung Pao Calamari, etc.) but most everything else is new. The major changes to the old include more pancakes (including chocolate and peanut butter), more gluten free plates (such as Grilled Kielbasa, a Lobster Omelet, and Tostados), and some reorganization ("Small Plates" are now "Shared Plates"; "Mains" are now "Lunch") that made perusing the offerings much easier. Our server brought a basket of small, tender corn muffins (sweet, soft, not too crumbly, fresh, warm) along with some cranberry sage butter (amazing!), and a few slices of nutty, crunchy-top cinnamony coffeecake to nibble on while we decided what to have.

Lemony, interesting - the Paillard of Chicken was a bright surprise
My friend TBB went all Paleo on me and ordered the Paillard of Chicken - lemony grilled chicken topped with frisee, grapefruit, and almonds. We both loved the slight char on the meat, which was still tender and moist, the scent of butter, a salad combo that clean tasting yet still complex: a wonderful combination of flavors and textures that held together like a well written chorus.

Just a bit too much jiggle to the eggs in this Eggs Benedict, but it was still very good.
I decided on a classic brunch offering - the Eggs Benedict. It was good, nothing amazing -  a rich plate, silken and salty and comforting. I think the eggs could have set a bit longer, the Hollandaise maybe needed a bit of zing, and the potatoes were simple, but they started with what I think were best quality ingredients, and so it was all good. And it went nicely with a Bloody Mary.

The Tostadas are so good you may have to fight off your friends so you can eat in peace. 
The kitchen surprised us with a dish of their Tostadas, an assemblage of over easy eggs with chorizo, chili, crispy homemade corn tortillas, cheddar cheese and salsa roja topped with a hit of sour cream and greens. Colorful, crunchy, spicy and fun, this is a dish that would make any gringo happy: be prepared to fight off your friends because they WILL want you to share! I may go do brunch solo some day soon just so I can eat one all by myself.

Instead of errands and shopping and yard work and paying bills and doing the wash and toting the kids around and getting out winter clothes and ordering wood and cleaning the chimney and fixing the door and washing the windows I HIGHLY RECOMMEND instead that you gather yourself up a brunch bunch of friends and go spend a couple of hours in the middle of the day on any given Saturday OR Sunday OR both talking, laughing, sharing, telling stories, eating well, and eating really wonderful food at Creo. The rest of the day, and the rest of the week, will be SO much better in the afterglow.

Thank you to our host for treating us to brunch. I think you are all wonderful.

Zena, Goddess of Fire

PS:  It felt good to feel almost human again.

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