a celebratory brunch (and hike)


Earlier this month (it is still December, right?), I had a birthday. Yes, I did, we all do, and this particular year I transitioned from the mid-twenties bracket to the late-twenties bracket, the early-something one now far behind me. I don't know about you, but I think we have milestone birthdays all wrong. Sweet sixteen (I guess?) maybe, and over-the-hill fifty jokes will probably always be in, if you work for a greeting card company, that is. But why no mention of the big 2-6? I may be onto something here. Stay tuned for a revolution.

Big birthday or small birthday, I've decided they're all worth celebrating in some way. This year, we took a drive up to one of our favorites in New Hope, Sprig & Vine, for Sunday brunch. They actually only do brunch on Sundays, which worked out perfectly for us.

Now, we've visited S&V before for brunch, and this 100% vegan fare, whether it be sweet peanut butter and jelly French toast or a savory scrambled tofu burrito, never disappoints, and this visit was no exception. We started out with some pickled seasonal vegetables, a favorite that they always do just right, and the halved grapefruit brĂșlee. I mean, you caramelize some sugar on top of a perfectly sweet and sour grapefruit, and you win. 

What comes next, I can hardly talk about, the goodness runs that deep. Pardon me while I take a proverbial deep breath to tell you that you have never had chocolate chip pancakes this good. I know, I know. But all the small-town diners I've visited? Ones made with real butter? My grandma's?! Nope. I hate to break it to you (and yet, sort of love to at the same time) that Sprig & Vine is serving up real-deal, fluffy, big-as-your-face chocolate chip pancakes with vanilla bean butter and maple syrup. Shut the front door. Your life will change. AND, make no mistake, this is no stingy, tiny stack. My plate came with three. THREE, two of which remained completely untouched.

Cute Colin got on board with the cranberry-apple French toast, a perfect blend of tart and sweet, rich and satisfying, with cardamom, red wine, and cinnamon cream. 

With our bellies full but not too full, we made our way up up up to start our hike. I'm not sure what came over me, but for some reason I had a feeling in my 26-year-old gut that this was going to be the year of the hike. And on this overcast yet surprisingly not so chilly day, we made our first trek up the rocky path.

Our next visit to Sprig & Vine, for a full circle effect, will be for New Year's Eve dinner. Tomorrow!