Oh, Matyson...I have had you on my Philly wish-list for so long. I deeply regret that it's taken me three years to work you into my dining schedule when visiting the City of Brotherly Love because I am crushing on you SO hard after our New Year's weekend brunch.
How do I love thee...let me count the ways. First off, I love the way Philadelphia is jam-packed with BYOB restos (most with minimal or no corkage fee). Apparently, only a very limited number of liquor licenses are granted within any given radius in the city, so the many wonderful restaurants that can't get them will let you bring your own wine/beer/liquor and provide setups for purchase. Matyson has been on my radar (and I on their email distribution list) for quite some time, so I was already well aware of their farm-to-table philosophy and constantly changing menu. Also (happily), a package store is only a block away so you can easily stock up on your libations of choice five minutes before meal time. In our case, it was brunch...so chilled Korbel seemed a noble enough offering for Sunday mimosas.
Let me in...it's 20 below out here! Okay, maybe 38 degrees...it's all the same to a Floridian.
The interior was adorably cozy and sweetly chic. UD settled in under the charming holiday display while our lovely hostess, Lauren, promptly dispatched a carafe of OJ so we could begin mixing our hangover helpers posthaste.
The brunch menu almost set off a divorce war, since we were both initially hell-bent on the Chicken and Waffles, but we reached a peace treaty when UD noticed that house-made scrapple was available...along with a decadent Brioche French Toast with Pear Compote and Hazelnut Praline.
My chicken and waffle with its sweet-yet-spicy Korean chili sauce; beautiful, golden-brown waffle; surprisingly juicy, tender and flavorful Corn Flake (I'm guessing here) crusted chicken tenders and perfectly fried egg almost made me faint from ecstasy. You want this.
The Brioche French Toast was totally unsurpassed...an amazing rendition I was fortunate enough to barter a bite of. While I must admit that I do not ordinarily share my Pennsylvania boy's love of scrapple, Matyson's house-made version was of "Iron Chef" caliber. The dense and hearty matzo-bound slab was comprised of more traditional cuts of pork (jowls, hocks, etc.), as opposed to pig noses and gawd only knows what else gets tossed into the mushy Jones Farm variety found in our local grocery store. It had a sturdier texture and decidedly less "offal-y" taste than any scrapple I've ever tried.
Underdog loved everything, but the scrapple offering had him begging for a second "dessert slab", drizzled in maple syrup if his request could possibly be met...which it cheerfully was. Oh, and I would be remiss if I failed to mention the stellar hash browns.
Cannot wait for the opportunity to return for dinner. Matyson is the bargain of the century based on food quality and the BYOB option. You guys rawk!
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.