With the completion of our Market Meal season, it feels a little like summer camp is over, with all its rituals and traditions that my staff and I have come to enjoy. There were 17 Saturdays of sun up to sun down work, beginning with the pulling of the green wagon through the market, to setting the menu and prepping in the middle of a busy brunch service. It continued with the pre-service stress of trying to get all the last details of the menu that were overlooked, briefing the staff on the uniqueness of the items for that night and finally executing service to the desired end of creating happy customers. You can see the photos of the last day posted on Twitter on our hashtag #whatsinthegreenwagon.
The reason the Market Meal comes to a close with still another 6 weeks of farmers market left is the arrival of Husker football season. In Nebraska, football trumps everything, so we go with the flow of the day and enjoy it for what it is; 7-8 days a year of tradition of a different kind of normal. Many ask us why we don’t have TVs broadcasting games and SportsCenter since we are so close to the stadium. But when I tell them the ROI doesn’t make sense on a year’s contract for the cable subscription for only 7-8 days a year, they get the picture. We have our regulars that enjoy the hidden gem of bread&cup on game days. They start their morning at our place, enjoy food and drink that they don’t have to schlep to a tailgate party. They then return for a bottle of wine and a meal afterward and wait while the traffic dies down. It’s the quintessential bread&cup experience; slow down, relax and enjoy the moment. Why be in such a hurry?
Now those Husker fans that stay over on Saturday night will be able to have brunch at our place before they embark on their journey back home. This Sunday, August 31 is our inaugural Sunday Brunch. We will now be open on Sundays for brunch from 10am -2pm every weekend. When we first opened 7 years ago, the Haymarket was a ghost town on Sunday mornings. It’s a different story now with all the new development, so we decided to adapt to the need and supply the demand.
We started serving brunch on Saturday back in May and found it to be a fruitful change. Among my favorites are the Mac Benedict (poached eggs with macaroni, sausage and hollandaise) or the Porklandia (a pork feast that won’t cure your hangover, but will at least make you forget about it for a bit.) We make our hollandaise the old fashioned way (w egg yolks and butter) and grind and stuff sausage in natural casings. The labor on both of these is intensive, but so is the flavor of the end result. That makes it all worth it.
We will be introducing an evening menu change the first week in September. I always look forward to the fall seasonal palette with its warm spices and rich aromas. Expect to see more seasonal produce like pumpkin, squash, and apples. We are working with a new supplier of duck and rabbit, which means more warm satisfying fricassees and curries. Hopefully this winter won’t be as brutal as last, but with a little luck the food will give you something to quell the cold and bide the time as we wait for better days.