Co-opting temptation at West Phila. brunch spot tempts with brunch

If you step into the stylish and casually refined confines of West Philly’s CO-OP for brunch, there’s a pretty good chance that any diet is going out the window.

Sure, there’s a significant portion of the brunch menu that keeps it light (parfaits, fruit bowls, veggie bowls, salads), but they just can’t compete with the classic comfort foods — which are made even more appetizing here.

Think upscale chef creations filtered through the appetite of a stoned college student with Red Bull coursing through his veins. (And we mean that in the most complimentary way possible.)

The tater-tot poutine ($10) had all the irresistible and guilt-inducing food groups in one bowl: fried potatoes, meat, cheese and gravy. Two perfectly over-easy fried eggs stare into your soul like they know your hopes, dreams and inner-workings. Beneath them is a steaming hot pile of house-made tater tots smothered in sausage gravy, scallions and melted cheese curds, just waiting for you to crack open the yolks so you can get this breakfast orgy started. You’ll hate yourself later but it’s so, so good going down.

Slightly less decadent, but only slightly, is the brunch burger ($18): a Sunday-morning monolith comprised of a robust hamburger patty, red-eye bacon jam, a fried egg and cheese surrounded by a toasted everything bagel.

There are a couple items on the menu that are sure to make your inner child have a full on Disneyland-freak-out-throw-any-dietary-restraint-out-the- window: the Oreo pancakes ($14) and the cereal-crusted French toast ($14). Our kryptonite was the latter. French toast on its own is sinful to begin with, and these Willy Wonka-ass evil geniuses in the kitchen decided to crust the bread, generously with Fruity Pebbles and top the whole shebang with a scoop of malted milk ice cream.

OK, that’s just ridiculous. I’m not going to … GIMME THE F%&KING FRENCH TOAST! Who said that?

Shameful? Yes. 

Decadent? Hell yes!

It was better than it had any right to be for a sensible adult, and we’ll desperately try not to drive by that restaurant on a Saturday or Sunday morning until after summer ends.

Damn it!

Yeah, so … back to the gym.

s located at 
20 S. 33rd St.
Phone 215-398-1874.
Brunch: Sat.-Sun. starting at 10 a.m.