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The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Son & Garden Review: ‘Taste the Aesthetic’ at This Local Brunch Spot

Staff+photo%3A+Amber+More
Staff photo: Amber More

Son & Garden is located in downtown Menlo Park, around a 5-minute drive from Menlo, and primarily serves brunch. On the lookout for a great Sunday brunch, we (Geoffrey and Sonia) decided to test out this nearby spot.

 

Food Satisfaction: 6.5/10

Sonia: Having enjoyed my ricotta pancakes here in the past, I decided to branch out this time with the deep-fried french toast. While it was visually very appealing, I eagerly cut through the center only to find that the toast was 75% mascarpone cheese inside. If that sounds tempting to you, go ahead and order this unique french toast. But if you’re more of a classic french toast appreciator, stick to what you know.

Geoffrey: I am not an egg person. I love a good sugary, hearty American breakfast like waffles, pancakes or Lucky Charms. So, I ordered one of three breakfast items that did not prominently feature eggs: the ricotta pancakes. The pancakes came topped with flowers, colorful fruits and a berry jam. The jam had just the right amount of sweetness without making me wince, and each of the toppings contributed to a floral flavor. A healthy dose of syrup helped me wash it down. The pancakes themselves were as advertised; my tongue caught wisps of the ricotta cheese that gives the dish its name. I hadn’t fully comprehended that I would have cheese in my pancakes, but the cheese blast was easily mitigated by the syrup or the jam. Though the springtime vibes emanating from my food kept me occupied, I thought once or twice about the Belgian waffle at Café Borrone just a block away.

 

Atmosphere: 10/10

Sonia: When you enter Son & Garden, there is no mistaking what meal you are there for. The establishment embodies brunch. Cute drinks, flowers hanging from the walls and adorning your food (phone eats first!), there is no escaping the cutesy-ness. As a cutesy appreciator, this was my perfect brunch spot.

Geoffrey: I felt like I was in a Mother’s Day commercial, and I sensed I was very out of place in my blue sweatpants and even-bluer sweater. All the staff wore pink. Hell, half the restaurant was wearing pink, preparing for a photoshoot in the restaurant’s chic waiting area. Our celebrity guest, Creative Director Amber More, told us she was so overwhelmed she could “taste the aesthetic.” That said, I enjoyed the experience of it all, and I appreciated that the energy of the restaurant was simultaneously lively and comforting.

 

Service: 6.5/10

Sonia: My main bone to pick with Son & Garden is the time it takes to be seated. Even with a reservation, we still waited 20 minutes for our table. 20 minutes which came out of the hour and a half that we designated for this meal. But once we were finally seated, there was no reason to be stressed for time. The service was fast and we got our food quickly.

Geoffrey: Our waiter was very kind and helpful, but the small glasses and lack of a water pitcher at the table left me patiently waiting for water for more time than was comfortable. I wish Son & Garden would follow other restaurants in leaving water jugs at each table for patrons to serve themselves.

 

Value: 7/10

Sonia: My french toast was $19.00. Albeit, I did give up an extra dollar for the fried experience, I’m not sure it was justified. Just a 10-minute drive from Son & Garden, another brunch spot, Sweet Maple, offers a french toast for just $14.

Geoffrey: $18.00 could buy two five-pound bags of Krusteaz pancake mix, but with all the fruity accouterments, the price point was not outrageous for the area. That said, I wouldn’t pay for this meal again.

 

Uniqueness (bonus point):  1/1

Son & Garden definitely earned the uniqueness point. With orange juice served in bear-shaped mason jars, flowers hanging from the ceiling and waiters in floral vests, there is no denying the branded aesthetic.

 

TLDR: 31/40

Geoffrey: I will not be going back to Son & Garden. Frankly, this is mostly because I don’t vibe with the egg-centric menu. The (normal) pancakes and waffles at nearby Café Borrone capture my heart like Son & Garden never will.

Sonia: I think Geoffrey and I disagree a fair bit here. For me, Son & Garden is more than just the flowery food. You’re also paying for an experience (and yes, lots of Instagram photos).

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About the Contributors
Geoffrey Franc, News Editor
 

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Telling people's stories and learning about the world through them.

Interests outside of school: history, running, and Mock Trial

Class of 2025

Sonia Dholakia, Arts & Lifestyle Editor
 

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Working with the entire staff to create a great product and becoming friends along the way.

Interests outside of school: Mock trial, traveling, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Class of 2025

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