You’re supposed to feed a cold, right? When I woke up this past Sunday with a full blown case of a head cold, I wanted nothing more than a huge, lumberjack man sized breakfast. But, that’s not quite what I got. Trouble is, we had to catch breakfast out near the mall in South Portland and, well, the options for an a.m. meal are woefully lacking (Why is there not a diner out there? Can someone explain that?). There’s IHOP, Cracker Barrel, Friendly’s, Tim Horton’s, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Burger King and Sea Dog Brewing. Neither the Missus or I will step foot into a Cracker Barrel for personal reasons and I’d take a Denny’s over IHOP any day. I wanted something with a little more sustenance than any of the other fast food places could offer, so we were left with Sea Dog.
I loved Eggspectations when it lived in the space that now houses Sea Dog. Sure, it was a chain, but it always tasted like it wasn’t and their endless list of Benedicts appealed to the Hollandiase sauce whore in me. With Sea Dog, well—it truly only came down to there being nothing else as we killed time waiting for the Sprint store to open.
The Missus ordered the Breakfast Bruschetta, a combination of ‘sauteed mushrooms and flavorful arugula on a grilled crostone, topped with two poached eggs and truffle hollandaise.’ Now, we don’t expect much when it says ‘truffle hollandaise,’ we’re not talking about the deft hand of Steven Corey or Sam Hayward in the kitchen at Sea Dog. We’re realistic. However, one would expect some semblance of truffles to be present, at least in the form of a strong (hell, even mild) mushroom flavor. The hollandaise was cloyingly lemon flavored and, beyond that, it was reminiscent of those instant Knorr packets you can pick up at Hannaford.
I ordered the ‘Homemade Corned Beef Hash,’ which was described on the menu as “It’s our specialty – Corned beef hash and root vegetables with two poached eggs, toast and homefries.” Where do I begin? With the fact that their interpretation of root vegetables consists of some onion slices and less than a dozen shriveled half moons of carrot seemingly tossed in after the fact or the fact that this is supposed to be their specialty? The corned beef was a unseasoned pile of dried cubes, the only moisture coming from the oil it was heated with. There was no crust from being heated on the grill, there was no herbs or black pepper. There was no flavor. Do you see the splash of red across the eggs? That’s Frank’s Red Hot which was a necessary element to bring any bit of flavor to everything you see on the plate. If I had thought of it, I would have even added some to the toast because my sourdough was, not surprisingly, lacking in sour. It was, however, slathered in a good half stick of butter, which does wonders for my shiny coat.
If their bare minimum attention to the quality of their breakfast, which they serve daily, is any indication, the only draw to actually darken the door of Sea Dog Brewing may be for a pint and their multiple big screen TV’s in the bar area. Just eat before hand.