Such was the case with Gypsy Saloon, 128 Ford St., West Conshohocken.
The place exudes a warm bohemian vibe with its artsy, colorful décor and laidback but friendly, attentive staff.
We were shocked to find out that brunch was a new addition to the menu at Gypsy Saloon. It was supposed to be a special Valentine’s Day event but the response was so strong, they decided to make it a permanent Sunday occasion. And judging from what we saw, the popularity of the brunch menu is growing. Around 11 a.m., business was brisk with Gypsy Saloon attracting a “girls’-morning-out” kind of crowd, but by noon the place was hopping with an eclectic mix.
We soon found out what the buzz was about: Once you get past the lovely start of yogurt, small pastries and (somebody’s got great taste in champagne!) mimosas, diners are in for some well-crafted dishes.
All of the dishes we sampled were Sunday-morning perfection. The poached eggs and asparagus ($8) benefited from the added flair of shaved parmesan cheese and chopped bacon. The steak and eggs ($23) was massive, reminiscent of a dish straight out of “Man vs. Food,” a well-executed New York strip topped with two fried eggs and parked next to an acre of spicy French fries all drizzled with garlic aioli. We usually aren’t the biggest fans of steak for breakfast, but Gypsy’s take on the standard won us over hands down.
But the dishes that really rung our brunch bell were the omelet with crab meat ($16) and the Mexican fried eggs ($8). Most often, your average omelet suffers from an overabundance of egg and/or cheese, leaving the ingredients you crave struggling in the background like anyone in Destiny’s Child who isn’t Beyoncé. But Gypsy’s omelet was super-generous, with crab meat and roasted red peppers from one end of the omelet to the other. The sliced avocado that topped the omelet and too-good-to-be-anything-but-homemade home fries were a nice bonus. The Mexican fried eggs tasted authentic thanks to the bright flavors of the green tomatillo sauce, salsa and avocado layered over fried eggs and warm tortilla.
Gypsy offers a prix-fixe brunch menu on Sunday, with three courses and unlimited mimosas or Bloody Marys for $20. Thankfully, the Mexican fried eggs and the poached eggs with asparagus are options on the prix-fixe menu, along with a lot of other crave-worthy dishes.
We had heard that Gypsy Saloon’s lobster mac and cheese ($18) was a house favorite. That was enough for us to make a detour out of brunchland, and we are so glad we did. A lot of places boast lobster mac and cheese on the menu, but this is one of the best we have come across in a long time. Made to order, never in a large batch, the noodles are nice and firm, the lobster comes in thick, juicy pieces, and the mixture of cheeses (asiago, parmesan and goat) strikes a unique and memorable balance that doesn’t go overboard or drown the noodles in a swamp of dairy indulgence.
For a restaurant so new to brunch, Gypsy Saloon has definitely come out swinging. And once the weather gets nicer, there’s no doubt the outdoor tables are going to be some of the most sought-after seats in Conshohocken on Sunday morning.