Sometimes you can’t trust Google. Sure, it is very helpful when you need to know where the White House is. It just doesn’t seems to get the opening times for restaurants, which can be either downright annoying or cause shops to lose potential customers. Couple months ago there was a feature on restaurants that were complaining Yelp which posted incorrect information such as opening times, and it seems like Google is making the same beginner mistakes. I guess internet is like science – you better check with the original source before deciding what is factual and what isn’t.
I thought that the Dandelion opens for brunch earlier in the day but Google reported that they are only open at 11am, even on a Saturday. It turned out that both my intuition and memory did not fail me, because the place was loaded by 11am. We were lucky to even get a table right away and the people who came after us had to stand around to wait for their turn. It made sense for a place that offers pancakes and waffles to open earlier in the day. We weren’t invited to sit upstairs and settled at the table next to the front door so it was kind of chilly. If you want to have a feel how this place looks like, check my previous post – it still look the same as before. The place is kind of crowded at around noon time, which gives a very different vibe compare to the quieter meal time I enjoyed last time. This feels more like the bar I went to in London where everybody chat with a pint in their hand.
Our original plan was to grab some awesome pancakes and waffles after all my ravings about them the last time I was here. The silver lining for being late (11am) is that we were offered the lunch menu and I saw the fish and chips on the menu. It’s kind of a rule for me to get the fish and chips when I see it, and hey, this is a “british-ish” pub, so I doubt there is a better time than this. The burger on the menu looked very tempting but I just in the right of conscience can’t do that with the Union Jack flying sky high out front. Since it was almost lunch time, both of us also got the mimosa – in fact, that is DP’s favorite drink and a place I used to work at.
As always, we were offered water in a bottle that sat on the table. I like the napkin set on the table, it just looked nice and ordinary and I need some of that simplicity in life right now. Even though all the televisions were showing some sports channel, everyone here were on a brunch date with their significant other. There were a couple of older guys sitting at the bar but I think they are part of some clubs since they all dressed similarly and knew each other. Our mimosa (they called it the Buck’s Fizz) came out pretty quickly and were pretty good. I have no expectations and with the fact that it is hard to go wrong with sparkling wine and orange juice, so I think I set the bar a bit low. The food took quite a while and I contributed that to the hectic kitchen serving everybody.
The fish and chip surprised me. I was only offered a slice of fillet with some thick potato fries. But with both Ketchup and Tata sauce. I would had appreciated more and expected more after enjoying their huge breakfast menu, but that means I get to order appetizer after the entree! To be fair, the fish itself was very fresh and the white meat just melt in your mouth. The batter was not too thick and added the crunch expected from fried fillet, and the tangy Tata sauce just made everything even better. The Tata sauce was so good that I dripped the fries in them rather than in ketchup. And speaking of fries, they have the crispy skin and soft inner texture signature of freshly cut real potatoes. The plate was shaped like a wooden cutting board and made it easier to separate the fish. I might be complaining about the portion size, but quality is always more important than quantity. Think about it, would you want 5 frozen fillets from Long John Silvers or a serving of freshly fried fillet at a nice looking restaurant? (Depending how hungry I am, I might choose LJS sometimes. Jokes aside, I think LJS deserve more credits that they are given. :D)
I was left hanging after the fish and chips, so I asked for the dessert menu. Nothing caught my eyes except for the sticky toffee pudding that came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m okay with toffee flavor as I associated that with coffee and I love coffee, but I don’t trust English pudding. I had one English bread pudding when I was younger and it was thick, chewy and inedible, but the ice cream was just calling me by my name. I took a risk and went with it.
Maybe the previous baker did not know how to make dessert, because this pudding turned out being rather impressive. The pudding tasted like a piece of cake that was soaked in maple syrup so it was soft but very sweat and still retain some chewiness but not so much that it taste like a piece of rubber. The ice cream taste like any good ice cream, and I have a feeling it is from Haagen-Dazs, but don’t quote me on that. Even with a pretty good dessert, I don’t know if I made the right call because the British cheese plate on the menu had been on the back of my mind since I laid eyes on them as I glanced through the main menu. I could had gotten that for dessert instead, but now it just give me some more things I could try with some English tea next time. By the way, that was what DP got, a pot of English tea for dessert. I got the same last time and I recommended to him. He liked it.
All in all, we had a delightful time here. I definitely prefer the magnificent French toast over the splendid Fish & Chips, but that’s because it is so much hard to get great French toast whereas half the country offers some kind of fish and chips. I still like the place and the atmosphere is pretty fun this time rather than the more serious high class feel the last time I was here. One of the server accidentally dropped his plate of food when he was walking along the tiny walkway between tables and I felt bad for the people waiting for their food. And the Dandelion is still as expensive as ever; and I’m still as willing to part with some bills for the experience. :P
Address: 124 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia 19103 PA
Visited: March 28th 2015 at 11am for brunch