Medford Tartine Brunch Club’s combined pancakes are served with strawberries and bananas. Photos by Sarah Lemon.
The Crater Lake, to the left, and the “Garden” are specialty cocktails from Medford’s new Tartine Brunch Club. Photos by Sarah Lemon.
Huevos rancheros with homemade fries are a Latin breakfast dish at Tartine Brunch Club in Medford. Photos by Sarah Lemon.
Toast topped with pear, brie and cranberry sauce (foreground) and smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese give its name to Medford’s new Brunch Club Tartine. Photos by Sarah Lemon.
A dose of pleasure is Claudia Morales and Carlos Torres’ prescription for pandemic fatigue.
The couple’s joy and optimism is palpable at their new Tartine Brunch Club, where whimsical cocktails transcend the genre of girls’ drinks and Mexican specialties complement French favorite snacks.
Mexican and Los Angeles street foods inspired Morales and Torres to open Xilakil Latin Fusion almost three years ago. But the southern Medford restaurant quickly became known for its Sunday brunch and specialty cocktails, even as it fought against indoor dining bans statewide.
When Xilakil closed in September, customers likely recognized its owners’ decision to leverage their strengths. And judging by the interest in Tartine just a week after it opened, the restaurant in downtown Medford could soon be booked days in advance.
Orders pass quickly from the kitchen to the small dining room with Tartine’s brick walls. But the mixed drinks encourage guests to linger. And the whimsical flourishes of the drinks take a while to conjure up.
The main one is a variation of the French 75 – nicknamed “Dreaming in Pink” – which is topped with a “cloud” of cotton candy and an edible butterfly. Rose petals, edible Hello Kitty images and teddy bear ice cubes adorn other Tartine libations. Preferring less toppings, my partner and I ordered “the Garden” ($ 9.75) and “Crater Lake” ($ 11.50) respectively.
The craze for “toast” may have reached its peak a few years ago, but Tartine is unabashedly aimed at fans of this trend. The restaurant’s name, of course, means an open sandwich popular for generations in France, which Americans have recently co-opted as a vehicle for avocado and other ingredients.
Avocado figures prominently among the “sandwiches” on the menu. But I skipped these, along with the off-season strawberries and tomatoes, in favor of the smoked salmon over cream cheese and pears with brie and cranberry sauce. The price of $ 12.50 offers two toast, which can be mixed and matched, although the smoked salmon adds $ 1.50.
Continuing the French theme, the pancakes won us over for dessert. Also priced at $ 12.50, the sweet pancakes came with strawberries and Nutella, banana and Nutella or a combination, which satisfied both my partner’s and my fruit’s preferences. While I love the savory pancakes ($ 14.50 each), the chicken pesto, Hawaiian, or chef’s choice toast fillings that include steak have failed to appeal.
I was somewhat intrigued by Tartine’s’ huevos Benitos’, Morales and Torres’ reinterpretation of Egg Benedict, which augments the traditional English muffin and poached eggs with refried beans, chorizo and chili sauce. con queso for $ 14. But I couldn’t fault my partner’s loyalty to the huevos rancheros ($ 13.50), although we did briefly discuss the merits of the chilaquiles ($ 12.50).
Other breakfast staples are the ‘trendy’ waffles ($ 10.50 each), including the irreverent Oreo waffle topped with sweetened condensed milk and the ‘fruity pebbles’, which bolster the namesake cereal with syrup. strawberries and even more sweetened condensed milk. If showering a waffle with Day-Glo cereal doesn’t scream fun, I don’t know what does.
Top a waffle with two pieces of fried chicken costs $ 15.50 while the chef’s chosen omelet costs $ 13.50. On the lunch side, Tartine offers three salads starting at $ 9, adding protein for an additional $ 3.50 to $ 6. There are also minestrone and tortilla-poblano soups ($ 6 to $ 8), a deli board for $ 20 and a plate of hummus for $ 10.50.
Specifying the pancakes for dessert, we planned to nibble on the sandwiches with our drinks. But the eggs came out almost simultaneously.
Toasting a welcome break from our afternoon groceries, we immediately detected generous amounts of alcohol – Tanqueray gin and violet cream in my turquoise Crater Lake and Ancho Reyes with pineapple juice, cucumber and kiwi in the verdant “Garden”. The latter tasted lush products while the crater lake emitted the slightest whiff of rose water.
Adorable little bites, sandwiches have held their traditional role in France, as a light snack before a real meal. A slightly larger slice of bread – or better quality bread, baked locally – would improve this dish. Or customers may find more value in the panini – Caprese, chicken-pesto, or roasted vegetables – for a dollar or two less than the toast.
Topped with homemade fries, the huevos were great value, accented with house salsa, jalapeño cream, pickled onions and avocado. Perfectly cooked eggs did not get lost among other components, as they do in some interpretations of this dish. The heat would suit most diners perfectly, although I would have liked the kitchen to have turned up the heat a few degrees, in terms of temperature.
Likewise, the pancakes could have spent a few more minutes in a skillet. Assuming they were prepared and reheated for serving, we didn’t fault the dish method as much as the pancake batter.
But the generous size of the pancakes, chunks of fruit, and pools of chocolate sauce – all topped off with whipped cream – redeemed this dessert that doubles as a breakfast. I would order one of Tartine’s specialty coffee drinks next time to reduce the sweetness.
Tartine’s mellow vibe is reflected in its photo wall, where patrons can take selfies against a backdrop of faux boxwood, flowers, and the restaurant’s neon pink logo.
Located at 36 S. Central Ave., the Tartine Brunch Club is open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 541-500-1820 for reservations. See the menu and updates on his Facebook page and Instagram profile: @ tartine541
A trio of culinary and craft drinks have announced plans to collaborate in downtown Medford.
On the Rocks is the name of the new joint venture for Over Easy, Herb & Flour Patisserie and New Port Distilling. The three have offered co-op experiences to patrons over the past year at the Over Easy brunch restaurant, which also operates Thursday and Friday evenings on North Bartlett Street.
Moved a few doors down from an East Main Street address, Over Easy is the work of chef Braden Hitt, who worked in Las Vegas, Portland and several southern Oregon establishments before founding Over Easy, from first as a weekend pop-up at the Downtown Market Co.. who went full time in 2019. See overeasysouthernoregon.com
Also starting as a pop-up for lack of storefront, Herb & Flour offers Over Easy pastries and also sells monthly pre-order baking boxes, each with its own seasonal theme. Owner Kali Kennedy, formerly of Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine in Ashland, creates personalized cakes for birthdays, weddings, birthdays and special occasions. See herbandflourpatisserie.com
Announcing the closure of its Central Point tasting room this month, New Port Distilling opened to the public in the fall of 2020. A spirits producer since 2019, New Port has been making vodka and three types of gin for sale in Oregon bars, restaurants and liquor stores. See newportdistilling.com
Check out Instagram profile @on_the_rocks_medford for build previews and updates.
The ‘Bubble’ waffles are accompanied by locally made ice cream at a new Grants Pass confectionery.
House of Glory serves artisanal desserts and sandwiches in an Old World cafe setting. Manny and Zachary Velázquez opened the business last month at 115 SW G St. Jacksonville’s Mamma Mia, a foodservice wholesaler, produces House of Glory gelato.
Popularized in Hong Kong, bubble waffle cones wrap a tender waffle and egg around ice cream, fruit, whipped cream, and other toppings. At House of Glory, dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk, caramel popcorn and Maria cookies are featured additions. Customers can also create their own with two scoops of ice cream, two toppings, and a sauce, starting at $ 14.
Gelato can be purchased with a spoon, starting at $ 4. Freshly baked goodies include cookies, cakes, and a guava bar. The passion fruit mousse with dark chocolate shavings is a house specialty for $ 7.
Half a dozen croissant sandwiches, between $ 9 and $ 15, complete the desserts. And a full espresso menu is available.
House of Glory is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Sarah Lemon has relished the Rogue Valley food scene for nearly two decades as one of the earliest contributors to Tempo’s food column. His palace has helped judge some of the region’s culinary competitions and festivals. Former editor-in-chief of A la Carte, the weekly culinary column of the Mail Tribune, she writes a bi-weekly column, The Whole Dish, as well as blogs and podcasts under the same name. Listen to mailtribune.com/podcasts and read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow @ the.whole.dish on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter, or visit facebook.com/thewholedish.