MobeysBrunchReview

Restaurant review of MobeysEatery originally published in TheCoast, April 22, 2004. Reproduced without permission.

OUT TO BRUNCH

Club Vortex entered the Halifax gay club scene in December 2003, taking over the old Derby digs on Gottingen Street.

The back half of Club Vortex has a raised dance floor, DJ booth and long bar; the front half is Mobey\x92s, a piano bar/lounge area with a small menu. The tables and bar tops are very industrial-looking (I find out that they\x92re concrete with an epoxy coating). At night, I imagine this to be a very cool dance bar; the sunshine pouring in through the windows on this Sunday morning make the rooms look a little sparse.

But dancing is for another time, today we\x92re here to check out the brunch\x97and an extensive brunch it is. It\x92s laid out on the dance side, and there are no holds barred here when it comes to selection.

There\x92s a toast-your-own-bread station along with an assortment of cold cereal, and at the end of the bar is a coffee, tea and juice station with apple, orange and tomato juices on ice. A small salad bar sports a huge bowl of fruit salad, marinated vegetables and Caesar salad, among other things. The main table is divided in two\x97one half lined with chafing dishes, the other side piled with pastries.

The pastries include Danishes, croissants, individual coffee cake loaves and cookies. Most of the sweets appear homemade, right down to the slightly burned bottoms of the cookies. The hot food buffet holds the usual breakfast offerings of bacon, sausages, hash browns, French toast, pancakes and scrambled eggs. There is a pasta dish as well.

Before I get to food quality, a word about the atmosphere: It\x92s obvious that many of the people here today are regulars, and well known by the staff. It looks like a close, tight-knit group, almost like we\x92ve crashed a private party. But instead of feeling like intruders, we\x92re welcomed by the friendly staff and made to feel like guests in someone\x92s home, not uncomfortable or out of place at all. That knack of making diners feel comfortable goes a long way towards enjoyment of a meal, whether it\x92s fine dining or a casual, serve-yourself brunch such as this.

And now, the food. There\x92s nothing especially spectacular here, but it\x92s plentiful and hot. I notice several cooks hovering around the buffet, quick to replace empty platters and chafing dishes\x97a buffet is one situation where too many cooks don\x92t spoil the broth.

I like that all the details are taken care of: A little jug of table syrup is right in front of the French toast and pancakes. The scrambled eggs are fluffy, with red and green peppers; the sausages are a little on the overcooked side, but the upside of this is that they\x92re not greasy. The bacon is a little undercooked, but again not overly greasy, and the breakfast ham is grilled just right.

Overall, most of the food tastes not unlike what you\x92d get at home, if you were inclined to get up early Sunday morning and cook yourself such a spread. But most of us aren\x92t, and a good Sunday brunch is always welcome in this town.

For 12 bucks and all you can eat, you can\x92t go wrong at Mobey\x92s.