Brunch at The Pigeon Hole — Food is worth the wait

Great outdoor seating and a casual sit down vibe

lf-pidgeonhole-MarlenaBecker

The Pigeon Hole french toast was crispy on the outside and moist but not soggy on the inside. 

Marlena Becker | Cavalier Daily

It is common knowledge that the best way to rehash every detail from last night is over brunch with friends. It is less widely known that the best place to do this is right by the University on the Corner. My hallmates and I ventured over to The Pigeon Hole to see if it could fulfill all of our “Sex and the City” fantasies. 

Located on Elliewood Avenue, the ambiance on the outside patio is very pleasant. Since the restaurant is on a side street, you don’t have to worry about seeing someone you know every two minutes but is still just a short walk from home for most students. The restaurant has a casual vibe and you quickly feel at home there, which is fitting considering the restaurant is located in an old house. The servers dress casually and the mismatched coffee mugs and mason jar water glasses give it a slight indie quirkiness to remind you that the cafe is cool enough to be on The Corner. 

Although I went Sunday morning at 10 a.m., we were seated right away. However, we waited a considerable amount of time before a server even brought us water. On the bright side, this gave us plenty of time to look at the menu. They have classics like pancakes and bacon, but also slightly more unique dishes such as the Monte Cristo — a ham and swiss sandwich on French toast. They offer iced coffee, which is a huge plus especially because it can be hard to find at most diners. They also offer cocktails for the customers who believe it’s never too early in the day to start the week off right. 

When it came time to order, I decided to try The California. This consisted of two poached eggs on a biscuit, topped with tomato, avocado and homemade hollandaise sauce. It also came with your choice of home fries, grits or a cup of fruit. The clear choice for me was the home fries. Other popular dishes at my table included the huevos rancheros, pancakes and pigeon in a hole (“two eggs over easy nestled in grilled toast”). As if everyone hadn’t already ordered enough food, we also ordered two biscuit baskets for the table. 

Waiting seems to to be the norm here, as it was another good chunk of time before we got our food. My meal was cold when it came out, so my first impression was not great. The good news is it only got better from there, and the temperature was not a deal breaker for me. The eggs were poached perfectly (yolks were runny), and there was a great ratio of avocado to tomato, both of which seemed very fresh. Most importantly, the chef got the hollandaise sauce just right. It was light and the portion was perfect — it didn’t leave me feeling too full or gross. The home fries were crispy on the outside and flavorful enough that I went without ketchup. 

If you tend to go sweet over savory at brunch you will be happy to hear my personal favorite entree was the french toast. Made with cinnamon chip bread and served with fresh berries this dish was sweet, but not too sweet. I’m usually hesitant to order french toast because I find it has the tendency to get soggy on the inside. This was not the case! The Pigeon Hole french toast was crispy on the outside and moist but not soggy on the inside. The breakfast gods gave us a miracle. 

As great as the french toast was, the highlight of the meal for me was the biscuit basket. The baskets, each with four biscuits, came out last and were the perfect finale. They were warm and flaky, and you could effortlessly break them in half to reveal the buttery inside. An added bonus was the side of honey butter. The butter added a sweetness I didn’t even know I was missing, and there was also strawberry preserves if that’s more your style. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a casual brunch restaurant close to Grounds, The Pigeon Hole is your place. It offers the perfect spot for good conversation, and the food will leave you looking forward to the next time you come back. My one word of advice — if you’re in a rush, stick to Bodo’s. The Pigeon Hole is proof that most good things take time — and apparently a lot of it.

Marlena Becker is a Food Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at life@cavalierdaily.com. 

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