The Best of the Brunch

Ause Abdelhaq chomps down to determine the best brunch of the bunch in San Lorenzo’s. [br]ONE undeniable thing about Dublin is that when it catches on to a new food craze, it really commits to it. For most trends, like pulled pork or burritos, their life expectancy is a year if they’re lucky. Mark my words, in two years, everyone will be reminiscing about the time the capital went donut-crazy with a fond smile and a shake of the head.However, one trend which doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere is brunch. Popularised during the mid-2000s, brunch in Dublin has become such a mainstay of city life that at this point, you’re unusual if you haven’t tried it.There are plenty of candidates for the best brunch of the bunch – San Lorenzo’s is one such candidate with their infamous #brunchofchampions, a campaign which proved to be so successful that the restaurant is now synonymous with the meal.To get a table at San Lorenzo’s, I had to book five weeks in advance. Trying to walk in and get served is simply impossible, which explains the strict 75-minute capping rule they have in place. Knowing this, when I finally got to try their brunch, my expectations were quite high; both because of their promotion of the meal and also because of its continued exaltations on countless Dublin food blogs.Upon arriving, after much deliberation, I decided to go for the Coco Pops crunchy French toast, while my friend ordered the Breakfast of Champions. The French toast was expectedly delicious; served with salt caramelised bananas and gorgeous Belgian chocolate sauce, it proved to be every sweet tooth’s dream. The Breakfast of Champions was a little less exciting; although the baked beans were wonderful and the eggs done well, the sausages were undercooked and the rashers were more fat than meat.I’d heard a lot about the New York Nutella cheesecake, so I had to try dessert – the portion was on the small size however. To give credit where credit is due, the dish was absolutely divine; I had expected to be disappointed, what with all the hype, but there’s no arguing with quality. It was truly scrumptious, to the point where I would almost recommend visiting the restaurant for the cheesecake alone.Ultimately, the food at San Lorenzo’s is of a really high quality – bar the pork in the breakfast, everything was perfect. Plus, there are other upsides to the restaurant; the service was personal and excellent, and the décor was extremely chilled out and relaxed. A minor concern might be the price of each meal, with most coming in at around the €15 mark, but the price is worth paying for the high quality.Generally speaking, whenever you go to a place which has been lauded as one of the best in the city (for anything), you can expect it to perform a little under par. The downside of fame is that people’s expectations of grandeur are implicit in their custom.That said, it would be wrong to say that San Lorenzo’s doesn’t deliver an incredible brunch as far as brunches go. The price is reasonable, the food is of good quality and, although they could do with making the portions a little bigger, dishes like the French toast and the cheesecake mean that they more than earn their spot amongst Dublin’s best brunches