We got home early on a Sunday morning from our Thanksgiving trip to Philly, where we ate ourselves silly. It’s a wonder that we had any interest in food at all but – but at 10:30am, we realized our stomachs were grumbling. So we ran through our typical list of favorite Sunday brunch places – Chez Lulu, Continental Bakery Downtown, Big Bad Breakfast, Pancake House. But before we made our final decision, I decided to take a peek at Yelp to see if there were any newcomers to the brunch scene that might be fun to explore. And low and behold, we realized that our city’s newest upscale restaurant serves a yummy looking brunch starting at 10:30. And even better, it’s in our neighborhood. It was meant to be.

Galley and Garden took the spot occupied by Veranda on Highland, so I’ll acknowledge that eating at Galley and Garden was a little bittersweet. My pangs soon went away when I realized just how special this new restaurant was. They totally renovated the place, and now have an incredibly inviting fire pit in the front:

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Here’s the rest of the front of the place:

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I had called for reservations but at 10:30 on a Sunday, the place was surprisingly quiet. I’m not sure if the word has gotten out yet that they do brunch – there was a slow trickle of patrons during the hour or hour and a half we were there.

When we entered, we were greeted enthusiastically by a friendly gentleman who led us to our table. As you probably know if you read the blog, the places we frequent tend to be more on the hole-in-the-wall end of the spectrum. So maybe it especially stood out to me when the man who seated us seamlessly placed a napkin on my lap. This kind of effortless and non-overbearing attentive service continued throughout the meal.

Given our recent Thanksgiving pigging out, we were looking to order either something light, or to exercise excellent portion control. Here were our options:

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After a brief struggle for foodie decision-making power, I guided Mr. Foodie to the obvious best choice: the portion control option using chicken and waffles (one of my favorites) and pork belly dumplings. These stood out to me as dishes that, if extremely unhealthy, ought to be really good.

The dumplings were a stand-out. Tons of delicious pork flavor, and although they used pork belly, they didn’t taste overly fatty or greasy (a good thing). They weren’t exactly light, but they weren’t heavy-they were hearty and crispy, delicious. Served with a fresh brussel sprout slaw. Came with a siracha aoli, sweet and sour sauce, and soy sauce-based sauce for dipping, all of which were excellent. After Mr. Foodie dripped a dollop of the sweet and sour sauce on the white tablecloth, an attentive waiter came by to wipe it off saying “we don’t want that to get on your clothes.” Now, that’s service.

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And now the chicken and waffles. Crispy fried chicken (airline cut, my favorite), nice and salty and juicy, on top of a soft, sweet waffle with just enough syrup and creamy gravy. When we were getting down to the end only salty little skin pieces were left, and they were the best, mixed with the sweet waffles…. mmmm, delicious.

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Galley and Garden is a really wonderful addition to the downtown/5 points brunch scene. I know this is a relatively short post for us-remember, portion control. That just means we will have to come back to fill you in on the rest of the brunch menu. I’m also really looking forward to trying their dinner offerings. Next time it’s a cold night I would love to score a seat on that fire pit patio!

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