Go to La Note where brunch has been redefined as “a meal you plan to eat at breakfast time, but will eat by lunch time” (my words). Harsh, I know. But I’m not alone.
Many online reviewers have commented about long wait times to get a table at the East Bay eatery. But the gripes seem to only add to the restaurant’s cachet rather than deter both locals and visitors. That could explain why La Note has been serving up French fare since 1997.
Seeing is believing, so my family and I decided to visit La Note for brunch. Maybe the food was worth the wait, we thought! After initially being told there would be a 40-minute wait time, we kept getting pushed back. Meanwhile, couples and groups of 5 people or more (some with small dogs even!) who arrived after us were being seated. Apparently, it’s not so easy to find a table for 4.
Finally, 90 minutes after putting my name on the list, my family and I got seated. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long to place our orders. We even got our coffees, pink lemonade, and Orangina almost immediately.
We ordered a few items à la carte, like a butter croissant, with a side of bacon, and an almond croissant, with two eggs sunny side up. From their Weekend Brunch menu, we ordered their Cote Est plate of scrambled eggs, strips of bacon, and a large pancake. I ordered the Pan Bagnat sandwich with a green salad.
I know pan bagnat means “bathed bread” but the one I got must have been given a “warm” bath due to the roasted tomatoes. It didn’t taste bad – it just wasn’t the temperature I was expecting. I did, however, enjoy the baby spinach salad with La Note’s house Dijon vinaigrette dressing.
In the end, I had mixed feelings about the place.
While the wait time to get a table was long, the food and drinks arrived soon after we ordered. But, sadly, the food was not worth the wait. My family and I agreed that everything we had eaten was “just OK.”
I’d like to come back for either lunch or dinner when it’s less crowded and when they take reservations!
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