Sunday, February 22, 2015

Breakfast Sandwich #11 - Cooper's Tavern aka These Hooligans Aren't Very Hooligany

Sandwich: Chorizo Sandwich
Location: The Coopers Tavern
Date: February 21, 2015
Cost: $9.95, served with mixed greens or chips

Whatever plans I have for this mission continue to change on a regular basis. The Coopers Tavern wasn't even on the list (now at 45 places including those already reviewed) but plans for later in the day involved being downtown, so Capitol area venues were in play. Coopers was suggested and they do indeed have a breakfast sandwich on the brunch menu, so, decision made.

I expected a nearly empty restaurant at 9:15 am on a non-Farmers' Market Saturday. What I didn't know was that they show soccer football on the weekends, so the bar area was already full. I suspect they open earlier than the 9 am time listed as the crowd looked rather settled and already invested in the game. No matter, there were plenty of tables including some within view of the game, not that it mattered to me. I'll watch some World Cup but other than that my attention wanders. This crowd was politely docile although they did sing the teams fight song, or whatever it is, after a goal or maybe it was the end of the game. I'll give them this, they weren't watching the NFL Combine, which has to be the most absurd sporting related event ever televised. Its about three notches below Puppy Bowl.

Enough about that. You get it. If you're looking for a place to watch soccer on the weekends I'm thinking this is it.

Terrible photo of the menu

Wait a minute, things are really looking good.

Blimey! GOOOOAAAAL, etc. 

The Sandwich - There is only one option on the menu and there are no variations listed so I didn't have to think about it. I appreciated that on this day. The menu doesn't list it but when you order they offer the choice of greens or chips, which I assumed were pub chips. It didn't matter, I wanted the greens so I didn't ask questions. I have to admit, I was leery of this one. Chorizo can go a few directions that I don't like - too cinnamony (spellcheck isn't going to like that word), too salty or too linky (in the case of Spanish chorizo). All the menu says is "house made" so I didn't have anything else to go on. My concerns started to alleviate as soon as the sandwich arrived. It looked fantastic with ample cheddar and caramelized onions spilling out from under the ciabatta bun. Slicing this in half for the money shot was tricky but as the knife cut through and egg starting running out, a feeling of relaxation spilled over me. I had a powerful sense that this sandwich was made with thoughtful care and perhaps even love. It turns out, I was right to feel that way. The chorizo was none of the things that I feared it would be. The onions, cheddar, chorizo and egg made a great team. The ciabatta roll was a solid choice for this squishy mass of flavor. It played a valiant role (pun!) in holding everything together. Ultimately this was somewhat like a chorizo breakfast taco in sandwich form. Kinda, but not really. Oh, the greens were really good, lightly dressed with a little tangy bite to them. I've already talked about appreciating greens with breakfast. I tried the breakfast potatoes from another plate and was unimpressed, but, they're just potatoes. I have no expectations of them.

The result - 4.27 soccer balls out of 5 soccer balls. I suppose this really depends on how much you like chorizo, and how you like your chorizo. It worked for me, and I gave it extra points for originality. I probably docked it those extra points for price. Is $9.95 a little pricey? Maybe I'm just cheap. The point system I have here is already out of wack and I should probably not apologize for it. Also, it isn't really a system. Here is all you need to know: do you like soccer, breakfast sandwiches, chorizo and a good beer selection? You're all set at Coopers.

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