I Can Eat 50 Eggs: Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse

In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
Day 16: Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse
1900 S. First St. 416-1601, www.bouldincreek.com.
Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight Monday-Friday. 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday-Sunday.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.16.12
It was a bittersweet move for Leslie Martin to uproot her Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse from its eclectic roost at South First and Elizabeth Street to a former tire shop a year ago. The new Bouldin Creek a few blocks south is bigger, with table service and more parking, but it’s kept the same character, good coffee and vegetarian food that made it special in the first place.
You might ask yourself what’s in vegan Hollandaise sauce that makes it creamy and eggy without cream or eggs. Silky tofu? Lemon? That sauce is the star of the Renedict ($7.75), a meat-free expression of the classic brunch dish, with brilliant yellow-yolked cage-free eggs over toasted ciabatta bread, layered with chopped baby spinach, ringed by half-moons of tomato and crowned with tofu’s answer to bacon. It’s a beautiful plate, like a sunburst mosaic, and the guy at the next table ordered it as soon as he saw mine hit the table. Do I get a commission?
Let’s talk separately about tofu bacon. It comes in roasty bronze elastic strips a half-inch wide and about 3 inches long. Texturally, it’s like sausage, with flavor like beef jerky from Wal-Mart with more sweetness than it needs and smoke that isn’t so much smoke as it is a smokescreen. By itself, it’s a violation of tofu and bacon alike. But as part of the whole dish, it lends a layer of complexity to a dish that manages to whoop a bunch of the other eggs Benedicts out there even with a few ingredients tied behind its back.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking) 
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