Saturday, April 21, 2012

Puffy Muffin, Brentwood TN

(Thanks to -- silly me didn't bother to take a picture this morning.)

Any of my Facebook friends can tell you that I go to Puffy Muffin pretty often. Considering it's over 70 miles from my front door, that I get there on average about once every 2 weeks is at least worthy of raised eyebrows. I know this. But I like the place enough that it's often the decider when we're talking about driving down to Nashville to do some of our (grocery or other) shopping.

I've brought family and friends here. Many have come back. Some actually build it into any trip to see us. We can't have a visit from my youngest daughter and her family without going to what her elder son calls "The Pancake Place!". If you know me and you have visited me, you have probably been there if time permitted.

There are plenty of places to find out more about Puffy Muffin. They have a website, Puffy Muffin Dessert Bakery and Restaurant. There are the review sites: Yelp Reviews for Puffy Muffin and Urbanspoon Reviews of Puffy Muffin. And of course there is Sarah at The Nashville Fork with her blog entry Puffy Muffin -- The Nashville Fork -- 07/29/2010. You'll find lots of great information here and that's great for me, it lets me just talk about today's visit without feeling that I left something important unsaid.

The restaurant is in one of those ubiquitous (for Tennessee at least) H.G. Hill strip malls, this one on Franklin Pike (US 31) in Brentwood, TN, just a little bit south of Nashville. It's a pretty good strip mall too, as it also includes a Fresh Market and an REI in its tenants list.

Today events conspired to keep us from arriving at "breakfast time", in fact we didn't get a chance to eat anything until about noon. Since on Saturday they serve "brunch" (full breakfast menu plus about 3/4 of the lunch menu) we fortunately still could have breakfast.

When we walked in the door, we grabbed a couple of sample pieces of Zucchini Bread while we were getting ourselves on the seating list. The joint was really jumping but they said 20 minutes and while I didn't time it, I'm pretty sure they got it exactly right.

Something that really tickles me -- the people responsible for seating greet me by name. OK, they obviously got it from the party name I always give, but still it's a great little touch. They seat a lot of people every day and it feels good to know that brain cells have been devoted to your memory.

The breakfast/brunch I usually get is the pancake platter with bacon and either a cup of fresh-cut fruit or a potato-cheese casserole that is clearly what Cracker Barrel was trying to accomplish (their result, while quite acceptable, falls a bit short). My Facebook friends have seen pictures of this plate many times. It's not what I got today but we'll include a picture anyway here just in case.

These pancakes have blueberries in them... the syrup (not maple but "Log Cabin"-like) is heated. They used to do that only by request but I asked every time and the topic finally bubbled to the top in staff conversations there. The result: they did the work to be able to safely keep syrup heated, and everyone gets warm syrup without asking. I've made my mark!

The other articles cover the place pretty well but I thought it might be nice to take a few photos. First up here is the dining room with people in it. You get a lot more feeling for whether a place is any good when you know that it fills up when the doors are open. The two tables you see in the middle of the photo filled up about two minutes later. Towards the back you can see a little "bar" that fills up quickly, especially when there's a backup on tables (we have eaten there several times). Notice it's full?

Then there's the bakery case. There's one big case that's pretty much filled with muffins. Another that's about 1/2 cookies and 1/2 pies. Another that's about 3/4 quiches. One more that's for cakes. Here is part of the cookie case. As you can see, they are managing to get them sold.

Behind the cake case, there is a big cooler with the fancy decorated cakes. These had not yet been picked up today. This is beautiful work. Not to the "Ace of Cakes" level perhaps, but I have seen some really wonderful designs. Their design people do a good job.

They make wonderful quiches there. My absolute favorite is their Southwest Chicken quiche, which has some finely chopped onions and tomato, and chicken with the kind of seasoning you put in taco meat, added to the basic quiche. Unfortunately they usually have Spinach-Bacon quiche on Saturday, as it is apparently the favorite of most of the clientele. My feeling is that it's OK but just not something I get excited about. When I really want quiche, and Quiche of the Day is Spinach-Bacon, I'll check in their to-go cooler where they will often have individual slices of other quiche combinations.

That's what I did today. The old Spinach-Bacon was ruling the roost again. They didn't have Southwest Chicken in the cooler but they did have their (Breakfast) Sausage quiche. I grabbed it and they used it to create the quiche platter with their Frozen Strawberry salad and the Lemon Poppy Seed cake.

The Sausage quiche was quite good. I will quibble with it a little though. I have their cookbook and I made a sausage quiche... but I crumbled the sausage. For this one, the sausage was mostly in the form of small cubes. I think that the crumbled sausage was a better idea. That said, I enjoyed it anyway.

The Frozen Strawberry Salad is mostly Strawberries and Cool Whip, with a little bit of pineapple. The cherry is sitting on top of a small dollop of mayo. I always scrape that off, I don't think it helps anything. The  frozen salad is fine without it. I guess anything for looks though. A plain pink rectangle with no cherry wouldn't be as cute. Uh-huh. Got it.

The Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is delightful. Down to the light clear frosting on the top.

Christine ordered an omelet and I don't even remember what it was. I didn't take a picture either, sorry. I can report that she likes it well enough to have it every time.

I thought about dessert. I've had a few good ones there. The last one I had was really good: Jackson Pie. This is a pecan pie with chocolate chips and bourbon. I've looked this up in their cookbook and I plan to make it soon. When I had it, a few weeks ago, I felt I had finally achieved Pecan Pie Nirvana. I'm told that there are similar recipes with different names. Call it whatever you want but when I'm in the mood for dessert, please just give me one.

Today I wasn't feeling it for dessert. But I might make that pie tonight and have some tomorrow.

Having their cookbook makes me feel empowered. And so my future is already there for the realization. After the pie... my next project will be Meatloaf Quiche.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite omlet is cheese, sausage, mushrooms and spinach. It is very tasty and Vince is right, I get it pretty much every time we come here (that's my rut). I think he is stuck in a rut with either the Southwest Chicken Quiche or the blueberry pancakes. But we both enjoy going to Puffy Muffin so much it's ok with us.