Saint Michael’s Alley – Palo Alto, CA

An impromptu brunch w A on a nice Sunday (Thanks again for brunch!!!). Got there at about noon and managed to find parking pretty easily. I almost walked right past the restaurant because of all the foliage in the front of the restaurant. The sign was almost completely covered!

A long line of people waiting for a table; which is quite uncomfortable for those sitting on the outdoor tables because you have all these people within arms length just standing around.

There were a few tables right outside, which we ended up at (which we didn’t mind because it was beautiful out). The interior was simple and very welcoming. Great bustling vibe with servers and bussers constantly on the move along with chatter from the tables.

Brunch menu is simple with a good amount of choices. There are two St. Michael Alleys locations and this is the only location that serves Brunch. Brunch menu also includes a good range of lunch items like salads & sandwiches.

We ordered:

Half order Blue Monkey Pancakes ~$6.50

Pancakes with blueberries and banana

Delicious. Good amount of blueberries and bananas that give moisture and natural sweetness to the pancakes. The pancakes were soft, fluffy in the centre and just plain delicious. I had it with butter, no syrup and it was perfect.

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Half order French Toast ~$6.50

Made with Challah bread topped with fresh strawberries and dusted with powdered sugar

A tad disappointing because I was expected thick cuts of soft eggy bread with a nice crust on the exterior.  Instead it was just hard and stale tasting.It needed lotsa butter and syrup to make it soft enough to cut through easily. We only ate one piece between the two of us. Generous amounts of fresh strawberries that were tossed in a light syrup.

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Smoked Salmon Benedict $18

Toasted english muffin topped with smoked salmon, tomatoes, shaved red onions, capers, poached eggs and Dijon dill hollandaise sauce

The benny was a pleasant surprise, it looked really good topped with fresh onions and sprinkled with paprika. Eggs were poached so beautifully, with dark yellow yolky goodness oozing everywhere. Hollandaise was rich and a tad tangy. Good amount of salty smoked salmon that is rounded off nicely with the fresh tomatoes & onions along w salty tangy capers.

The potatoes were another shocker. They look pretty pitiful, dried up and burnt but do not be fooled. They were deep fried with a nice salty crispy exterior and soft centre. Seasoned well that it did not need any condiments.

The biscuit, I didn’t care for much. A tad dry and blah…

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Extras:
Mocha $3.25 – Didn’t try it~
Coffee $2.75 – Not bad, pretty average.

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Total Damage: ~$48 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)

Not your average quick fast breakfast; a tad more luxurious in terms of quality of ingredients AND price. The place is busy and so food took a while to get to us, but that didn’t bother me much since we were there for a relaxing slow brunch.

Service was pretty slow. As much as I liked the lady serving us, she was quite absent. Our drinks took a long while to get to us and throughout my whole meal I was not offered any coffee refill until I flagged her down to request more coffee. And it still took her over 5 minutes to bring me the refill. I usually go through at least 3 cups of coffee throughout breakfast but that was quite impossible here. I guess if she had done a check back on the food, they could have remedied the french toast. =(

They are very efficient in getting bills ready and setting up the table for the next party though; which is necessary because of the constant line of diners waiting for a table. Long wait (about half hour) at about noon on Sunday and they don’t take reservations for brunch so head over early!

Oh, and if you are uncomfortable with people staring every now and then at you eating, you might want to opt for the table indoors. I would have appreciated it if the servers would “suggest” those waiting for a table to wait more towards the corner, in front of a restaurant that is not open on Sundays rather than standing along the front or between tables.

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St. Michael’s Alley

806 Emerson St
Palo Alto, CA 94301

(650) 326 2530

St. Michael's Alley on Urbanspoon

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