On a weekend day that beckons you outdoors to enjoy the terrific spring weather, there is nothing like a great breakfast to start off the day. Recently the RhodeCrew has been venturing out of our quaint little towns and heading downtown for some eclectic breakfast fare. On my way to a restaurant in Providence a few weeks ago I couldn’t help but notice what looked like a line for Springsteen tickets (back in the 80’s) forming around an unpretentious store front on Broadway. There weren’t any large signs that distinguished this place aside from two red neon lit “J”s on the left and right sides of the front windows – welcome to Julian’s.
Julian’s Providence is no stranger to the Providence culinary scene as evidenced by their wall of accolades in the back of the dining area. At Fork in the Rhode we try very hard to find “off the beaten path” places, and at times it can be challenging in our small state. Sometimes we go against our mission statement and review a place that despite its popularity is too tempting to pass up!
Breakfast this morning was a memorable experience. We went right for the bar so we could see all the action in this open kitchen establishment. Having a super-friendly waitperson like Sam was an extra-special treat. We truly appreciated how very engaging, knowledgeable and passionate he was about Julian’s. Having a proud restaurant staff is one of the keys to the success of the business. When going to a new restaurant, we make every effort to request the “Signature” dish or at least one of the house specialties, and if we wind up just an “order taker,” it really takes away from our experience. We know it’s only a meal, but we like to get pumped up and excited about the incoming, unique gastronomical encounter! Sam was quite an ambassador for our first Julian’s experience – and we felt fortunate.
Breakfast for Scott today was from the daily Special’s Board – Chipotle Honey-Grilled Shrimp Benedict with baby spinach, smoked onions over warm cornbread with a scallion hollandaise. Accompanying this dish was a side of Beer Bratwurst Hash which included white beans, Swiss cheese and caramelized onions. The unique spice profile of the shrimp was so unique that I had to reluctantly share them with another RhodeCrew member because flavors this good must be communal. The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, and it was such a nice change to have it served on a bed of fresh-baked cornbread instead of the usual English muffin. This hash was also another unique treat that we doubt you will find anywhere else.
“We smoke our own salmon,” Sam said, as David ordered the Nova Scotia Benedict faster than you could say “lox.” This beautifully smoked and sliced happiness was carefully laid out across freshly thick-cut Italian bread and topped with two perfectly poached eggs with a smooth and creamy hollandaise blanketing it all. Although a plain potato hash accompanies breakfast, he chose the Bleu Cheese-Spinach specialty hash from the menu. The chef starts with the traditional grilled hash and incorporates the specialty ingredients before browning it on all sides. What a winner of a breakfast this turned out to be!
As we watched unique flights of draft beer being ordered with breakfast, we felt a little left out – so we ordered one (yes it was 9:00 AM…don’t judge). On the recommendation of Sam, our flight included the following:
- Saison Dupont (Belgium), a dry blond beer, with aromas of hops, marked bitterness and a bit flowery in taste. Alcohol content: 6.5% vol.
- B.B.C. Imperial Stout (MA), a rich, smooth and creamy malt stout with hints of chocolate, licorice and coffee. Alcohol content: 8.5% vol.
- Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse (Germany), a deep gold dry hopped Weissbock with a light and sweet aroma. The taste was very smooth with hints of citrus, wheat, and fruit. Alcohol content: 8.2% vol.
- Hofstetten Saphir Bock (Austria), a cloudy golden-yellow dry-hopped beer with a smooth malt flavor. Slight hints of lemon. Alcohol content: 7.4% vol.
Julian’s offers 20+ globetrotting drafts (Belgium, U.S., Japan, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Austria and Norway) from which to sample. In addition their extensive bottled beer, wine and other spirits menu is worthy of your interest.
It has been said that Julian’s Providence is a Hipster hang-out. The RhodeCrew assigned to this restaurant was curious what that meant exactly, so we looked it up:
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.
Our response – we wished we hadn’t wasted our time looking it up! If you are in a “subculture” of eaters seeking out a great food and drinks in a very cool looking restaurant with an attentive and educated staff, get over to Julian’s Providence as soon as entirely possible.
We’re not kidding get your shoes on…..we’ll start the car!
Julian’s Providence 318 Broadway Providence, RI (401) 861- 1770