I think I've mentioned before that if you sign up for Big Burrito's mailing list (to receive emails about Big Burrito News/Happenings), you receive, in the mail, a birthday coupon every year and that coupon is good for up to $30 off an entree for 2 weeks around your birthday. It's not good on Saturdays, and we had already made plans to dine at Wild Rosemary, and SP gets home too late during the week for us to head back out into the city for dinner, but I just couldn't pass up the birthday coupon! So we decided to use it on a Sunday brunch at Casbah (Eleven also offers Sunday brunch).
So on this rainy and dreary Sunday, we set off for Shadyside. We had made a reservation and we arrived just a minute or two early. We were seated in the enclosed patio area, which I really like. It's bright (even on a grayish day!), there are palm trees and other plants and assorted other Mediterranean decor; it feels like a big outdoor patio/garden. It can, however, get a wee bit noisy with conversations echoing around, especially when there are several large groups of people.
Casbah offers a Prix Fixe Sunday brunch for $22. It includes a cocktail of your choosing (Mimosa, Bellini, Bloody Mary, Sangria, or Salty Dog), an appetizer, and an entree. They will substitute a non-alcoholic beverage for the cocktail if you want. For my cocktail, I chose a Bellini. SP chose a Bloody Mary, which arrived with three large olives, a lime wedge, and a celery stalk.Mmm both cocktails were tasty. A couple minutes later, the bread basket arrived. Sorry for the blurry photo -- I guess I was so excited by these goodies that I couldn't hold the camera still long enough to take a photo before diving in!There were mini ginger muffins (my favorite of the bunch - so deliciously gingery), buttermilk biscuits, and mini almond scones. They were served with honey butter, which is pictured at the bottom in the cocktail photo. We really enjoyed these brunch treats. When a server asked if we'd like another bread basket, we said yes, and then devoured a second basket!!! They were that tasty. We were offered a 3rd basket, but declined. Which I sort of regret...!!
SP started off with soup: Tomato & Basil Bisque with Parmesan Crostini.We both really like this soup - we have enjoyed it on previous visits to Casbah. It's not too salty or tomato-y/acidic. I had a few spoonfuls and a bite of his crostini. We like this soup so much that's it's difficult to pass on it and order something else! That's also true of the salad I chose - it's so tasty that I just can't bring myself to not choose it. It's Arugula salad with crimini mushrooms, house-made pancetta, potatoes, pancetta vinaigrette, and Capriole goat cheese.The salad is so lightly dressed with the vinaigrette that you almost don't even realize there is dressing on the salad. No pools of dressing under the goodies. The goat cheese was so creamy & a tad sweet. Soft potato cubes. Sauteed mushrooms. Delicious.
For his entree, SP chose the Wild Mushroom Omelet with goat cheese, fresh fruit, smoked paprika roasted fingerlings, and white or wheat toast. He chose wheat.
The omelet was light and fluffy and loaded with goat cheese & mushrooms:I chose Braised Lamb & Eggs - braised Elysian Fields lamb shoulder, spinach, poached local eggs, oregano, and grilled sourdough:Oh my goodness. The plated food was lovely, and it tasted even better than it looked. Tender lamb, wilted spinach. I asked for my poached eggs to be well-poached (yolks cooked through) and they were. I was savoring every bite and was almost finished, I was down to the last 4-5 bites, when I swiped at the lamb & spinach to clear it off the bread and I uncovered 2 largish and cream colored blobs that I thought were funny looking bits of poached egg white, but then as I stared I was overcome with horror. They were 2 very soft, very well cooked GARLIC CLOVES. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!
SP took one and ate it and confirmed my suspicions. Uh-oh. I gave the last 2-3 bites to SP, the parts that were touching the garlic, and started praying that the cloves were cooked enough and mellow enough to not trigger my usual garlic reaction.
We were too full for dessert and for coffee/tea. The brunch was quite filling (all the baked goodies we ate helped fill us up!).
Our server was very friendly. She didn't think I was odd for asking for well-poached eggs and after serving our entrees, she quickly checked back to make sure my eggs were cooked enough for me. Empty plates were quickly cleared, water glasses were kept filled. She apologized when it took a while to bring our check and explained that she had gotten a bit tied up splitting one check into 10 checks for a party of 10 women.
It was a lovely, delicious, relaxing Sunday brunch - the kind of brunch I'd definitely like to enjoy more often.
And best of all - whatever garlic I ingested did not upset my tummy!