Brunch at the House at the Renaissance has been marauded! Did you even know the Renaissance had brunch? Check out the menu here. The staff is, of course, used to serving hotel guests 99% of the time (as was evident when they explained what Conecuh sausage is to me), but that doesn’t mean they should keep this service a secret from the rest of us. The next time you’ve got a hankering for a big, breakfasty weekend, add The House to your list, but take the knowledge from our experience with you:
They are, mercifully, open both Saturdays and Sundays. That alone is a huge plus, considering the rest of Montgomery prefers being open one day or the other. The downside is that brunch service stops at 11 AM, which I guess makes it categorically breakfast more than brunch. I can’t even remember the last time I had a mimosa that early.
Speaking of mimosas, they serve alcohol! This isn’t just eggs and French toast, people. You can find your hair of the dog with these folks. I ordered a bloody Mary with well vodka and paid a reasonable $6.50 for it.
Be cautious, however, of the staff’s overzealousness and the menu’s price point. Although overall friendly, the staff herded us like cattle from the moment we spoke to the host. Our drink order was requested before we had even sat down in our chair. We were checked on by our server only a minute after some other staff person – a manager maybe? – had also checked on us. No one considered that we could possibly be anything other than hotel guests and that we might want to, you know, come back.
Regarding the price point, you know you have a problem when the eggs Benedict cost as much as those at Spring House. I paid $15 for them for the sake of research, since it’s my go-to at any brunch haunt. They were fine, but not $15 fine. The best thing on my plate was the cheesy hashbrowns.
My friend ordered the cornmeal hoecakes, and those hit their mark. At $12.50, John received a mountain of cornmeal-based pancakes topped with powdered sugar and pecans and served with syrup on the side. I traded cheesy hashbrowns for a slab of hoecakes (can I say that hoecakes is an extremely fun word?), which proved to be a fair deal. John happily took home leftovers and is looking forward to coming back for more.
It’s also worth noting why we went with our menu selections. The restrictive vegetarian options left John with few choices other than the hoecakes if he actually wanted to feel full when he left. As for me, I defaulted to my usual order despite its cost…because the server left me with no other option.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but on each of these adventures I like to ask my server what their most popular, crowd-pleasing menu item is. I never get a direct answer right off the bat; it usually takes quite a bit of prodding before we eventually get there. But today, the server’s answer was to inform me that she doesn’t eat breakfast. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I assume she was probably used to being asked what her favorite menu item was. I clarified that I wasn’t asking for her opinion, but instead wanted the opinion of the masses. She pitched “two eggs any style,” which comes with breakfast potatoes, Conecuh sausage, and toast.
**A note to all wait staff anywhere on the planet: when asked for popular menu items, try to give an answer that showcases something that only your restaurant does extremely well. I ultimately resorted to something I knew I like that I can’t easily just whip up myself at home.
Our server was nice and I hope to not come off as over particular, but I’m taking this breakfast quest seriously. I’d absolutely go back to The House if a friend wanted to try it out, but I’d take a different approach to the menu next time around. Here’s the summary:
Order the hoecakes.
Save your money on the eggs Benny.
Be prepared to be herded around like you’re just a hotel guest who doesn’t know what Conecuh sausage is.
The search for the best breakfast in Montgomery continues, and Shashy’s is still in the lead.
|Liz Kurtz lives in the Cloverdale-Idylwild neighborhood of Montgomery, Alabama. She has been living here on and off since 2013 and currently works at El Rey and Leroy in Cloverdale. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.|