-4 Snaps! Strongly recommended
It’s no secret that I am a fan of The Rooster and the Till. It continues to be one of the areas preeminent eateries and when I saw they were offering a pop-up brunch replete with a guest bartender and DJ… well… hell yeah!
As we enter the atmosphere is energetic, with upbeat music mixed by DJ Blenda (@dj_blenda) and a decent crowd (we got one of the earlier seatings). Copping a seat at the kitchen bar we are able to watch the culinary talent in action. We are told by our server that the guest bartender had an emergency and is unable to be there, but his creations are still available.
The menu is simple and intriguing. It’s broken into sweets (sugas), egg dishes, proteins, sides, and cocktails. Most of the dishes look familiar yet not. For example, lots of places are serving chicken and waffles. But here it’s shwarma chicken thighs and a falafel tater tot waffle. A falafel tater tot waffle….just sit with that for a minute…
We start with a twice-baked croissant ($5.00). It’s a flakey, sweet, and too large to hand hold (that doesn’t stop me) pastry served on a wooden cutting board and dusted with powdered sugar. It is twice baked, once for browning and a second time after the filling is added to keep the flaky dough from falling apart. It's a two fisted layered delicacy topped with toasted almond slivers and mixed with marzipan for extra nutty overtones. The bottom is filled with an apricot spread adding a jammy sweetness and that powdered sugar topper finishes off the bite. It’s a messy, almondy, flakey, gooey, warm, crunchy start. Bring it!
Next is an egg sammy ($12.00). Of course R&T can cook complex things. It’s their jam. But what about something as pedestrian as an egg sandwich? It’s a favorite breakfast food of mine and this one is on the money. They start with an everything bagel, bringing its own room full of spices and flavors to wrap this dish. The scrambled eggs are fluffy and folded with a not too-sharp-cheddar rendering a cheesy comfort. The hamburger-sized house made sausage patty is just spicy enough to deliver a peppery edge and cooked medium rendering it firm yet juicy. I want a little more from the hot sauce aioli. It needs to step up a little, but what's here adds some creaminess. It’s a tall stack of food but with a little force I’m able to manage a full bite!
For a side we order fried potatoes with Gouda hollandaise ($5.00) . Okay.. this is self explanatory. Really... crispy deep fried golden brown potato chunks swimming in a warm Gouda cheese based hollandaise sauce....a warm Gouda cheese hollandaise sauce.... like Christmas on a cracker.....
Migas Scramble ($13.00) is next. Migas is a Mexican dish typically of scrambled eggs and fried corn tortilla strips dressed with salsa. The Roosters version comes in layers with refried red beans on the bottom, then scrambled eggs, tomatillo salsa, all topped with queso fresco. Fritos corn chips are scattered amongst the mix to add a corny crunch. Two small house made tortillas serve as a delicious serving wrappers for this breakfast taco medley. I'd eat these for dinner! It's one of those dishes that fits any time of day.
Eating at Rooster and the Till is not just about the food, it's about the experience. The service has always been top notch and the modern spirited ambiance inviting, and this visit is no different. Customers can watch the food magic happen before their eyes at the kitchen bar while mixing it up with a music groove, custom drinks, and a consistent blend of edgy cuisine. So yeah, if this pop-up pops up, pop in!
Chip Weiner is a Tampa food blogger and an award winning freelance photographer specializing in portraiture, food photography and photojournalism . He has been a photography instructor for over 10 years and teaches Tampa photography classes throughout the year. Have a suggestion for a food event or restaurant? Contact him here
For information on photography classes and workshops, feel free to call me or look under the Tampa Photography Classes section of my website. Photo 101 is by far the most popular! I also give private individual lessons on camera operation and making better photographs and would love to work with you one on one to make you a better photographer. Photography instruction gift certificates are also available. They make great gifts for the photo enthusiast in your life. Let's talk about what you need! 813-786-7780. See you in class!
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