Second Helpings


Merci and Gracias

    I don’t remember what it was that I did for my friend, but with her enthusiastic “thank you” came an invitation to join her, on a Sunday morning, for brunch at Citron on College Avenue in Rockridge. Yum. Plus, if anything makes me feel grown up and sophisticated, it’s an invitation that inspires dressing up a bit for something that has no relationship to work.
    I hadn’t ever eaten at Citron—brunch or anything else. Peering in, I’d gotten the impression it was stuffy. In fact, it was anything but on a Sunday morning. The fun and friendly vibe started with the greeter who was dressed—or at least her hair was—on the eccentric side of formal. Then there was the zydeco music, loud enough to elevate the mood but not so loud as to intrude. And it seemed that 10:30 a.m. was a good time to get there. Not yet busy, we felt no pressure, sitting pretty at our table in the window, to stop our conversation and scan the menu until about the sixth time the waiter came to take our order.
    “What’s good?” my friend asked him as we pondered our choices. On his list was the chilaquiles verde ($13)—slow-roasted pork with two eggs (“make mine poached”), tortilla chips, spicy green salsa, a little mound of sour cream on top and guacamole flecked with tomato. The luscious pear decorating my plate was sliced with the symmetry of a Japanese fan; pineapple came in bite size chunks. My friend had the classic eggs Benedict ($14). We both held off on the breakfast potatoes, not to deny ourselves, but—doesn’t filling up on comfort food at breakfast time make you want to go hibernate like a bear?
    Ever since we parted ways, I’ve been trying to recall what I did to deserve the “thank you” brunch treat. I want to know so that I can do it over again. If it means brunch at Citron, I’m game. Bring on that slow-roasted pork.
    Citron, 5484 College Ave., open for brunch 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.-Sun., also for dinner nightly and lunch daily except Tue., (510) 653-5484,

—By Wanda Hennig
—Photography by Lori Eanes

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