This past weekend a small group of my friends and I biked from Midtown to Downtown Memphis (about 10-12 miles) for brunch. We figure it's a good way to enjoy the weather, friends, get exercise and check out a new eatery...even if it's only new to us!
Apart from being windy and slightly chilly, the weather was beautiful. One thing we didn't factor in, was area colleges' graduations. U of M had two ceremonies at the FedEx forum, back to back. Luckily, I was with seasoned cyclists who knew, immediately, how to tweek our route to avoid heavy traffic.
We decided to give Beignet Cafe a try. I had been there for drinks previously and loved the atmosphere. Also, I heard that they expanded their menu and were now offering breakfast/brunch items.
They really have done so much with the space that they have. A sitting area to read, work on a computer or chat with friends while enjoying some chicory coffee. An upstairs and downstairs dining area as well as quaint, little patio.
We decided to enjoy the sun and sit on the patio. There were very few diners there and right from the start, the service was much to be desired. When we finally received breakfast menus, there were very little choices. Two breakfast options to choose from and a side menu that included: biscuits, toast, grits, bacon, sausage and fruit. When the waiter returned, we asked if we could order off of the lunch menu. He returned with the menu, which was MUCH better. Shrimp and grits, club sandwiches, salmon blt, a pletherea of salads, just to name a few things. Our waiter took ages to come back and take our order. Then, when our food arrived, one of the orders was wrong. The waiter apologized and said that he would have the kitchen correct it immediately. At least 15 minutes went by, the waiter delivered food to tables around us, without as much as an update on my friend's food. We all offered her portions of our plates, in the meantime. It took at least 30 minutes for him to bring her corrected, club sandwich to her.
The waiter was very friendly; however, seemed unaware at how poor the service was. Once it arrived, the food was amazing. When our food arrived, we even ordered beignets for dessert...because 1) we didn't know when we'd see our waiter again and 2) heaven knew how long it would take for us to receive the beignets. Well, our timing was perfect. The beignets arrived just as we were finishing our meal. They were just like the beignets you would be served in Louisiana.
All in all, Beignet Cafe's food was delicious, the atmosphere was authentic and hip, but the service was atrocious. I would love to take a book and sit in one of the comfy chairs while enjoying a fresh cup of joe. But would hate to try and eat a meal there when I'm hungry and they're busy.