Friday, June 18, 2010
No. 100, Anhe Road, Sec. 1
hours: Sat/Sun 10 AM - 5 PM (weekend brunch)
Kid friendliness: high chairs available. room for large groups.
Visit reviewed: 5/29/2010
I have fuzzy memories of going to Carnegie's once when I first started spending more time in Taipei in 2004. Mostly I remember that it was dark and loud and there were lots of drinks. So even though I'd heard for years that they had a weekend brunch, I never managed to make that connection of wanting to go there for brunch over its next door neighbor, the Diner. Bar by night, brunch by day?
So when one day a friend chose it for brunch for our large party of 12, I was excited to finally give it a try. Inside, there's lots of tables and room for big groups, though the lighting is still a bit dim if you're not sitting near the patio- perfect for those who had too late of a night out, I suppose.
Their brunch menu includes English and American breakfast plates, cheekily called "The Big One" or the "Not So Big One" as well as pancakes, french toast, eggs benedict, omelettes, sandwiches and desserts.
I ended up ordering the "Not So Big One" (NT$320) which had plenty of English breakfast on the plate, with 2 eggs, sausage, bacon, fried mushrooms, baked beans and toast. The breakfasts also come with a small glass of fresh orange juice and choice of coffee, tea or soda.
My favorite thing about the dish was the bacon- fatty and juicy, over the slightly dry sausage and underseasoned mushrooms. I only had one half slice of toast- four half pieces was definitely too much for me.
My friend V ordered the pancakes, (NT$260) which looked a lot more like blintz or crepes, rather than the fluffy round golden pancakes that you'd expect. One is stuffed with apples and raisins and the other with bananas and bacon. I didn't give it a try (as you know, I abhor raisins), but my friend finished it and said that the dish worked.
They do have the typical American pancakes (NT$180), at least on the kids' menu and were pretty fluffy and tasty.
Other orders around the table included the ham and cheese sandwich with fries (NT$180), American breakfast and french toast. I didn't get a photo of the plate of large french toast, but it was pale and dry and didn't look like it touched a griddle or had any egg on it. My friend who ordered it was quite disappointed and didn't finish the dish.
The verdict on brunch at Carnegie's after all these years? Well, if you don't want to wait at the Diner and have a large party, then you could consider it. Otherwise, next time I'd probably still stick to other brunch places unless you're craving an English breakfast which is a unique offering for them in Taipei. I think we had the bad luck of also having a new server for our large group- orders were dropped, food came out at different times and he brought us a tray of orange juice and coffee/tea to only come back and take it away since it was for another table even though some of us had already drank the beverages. We had a hard time waving down the staff as their eyes seemed to look every way but our table.
Have you tried the brunch at Carnegie's and was your experience the same or different than mine? Where is your favorite place for brunch in Taipei?