On Sunday, Ben and I decided to check out the new vegetarian brunch at Dicky’s. Dicky’s had advertised it on their facebook page as starting at 10 AM, but I wasn’t terribly surprised that we were the first to arrive to brunch at 10:30, considering the standard Dicky’s crowd seem to be the “stay up late on Saturday night” types. We sat down at our favorite table, and then went up to the buffet to find an assortment of breakfast items: different flavors of bagels, cut into eights, with cream cheese on the side, yogurt set next to granola and honey, fruit salad, a warmer containing something that looked like it might be eggs, and another warmer with potato pancakes. We filled up our plates, grabbed a cup of coffee, a satisfying espresso roast, and went back to our table to start round one.
We were immediately struck by the healthfulness of it all. The egg-looking dish turned out to be a delicious curried tofu packed with fresh parsley. It had a pleasing texture and flavor, and paired well with the potato pancakes. The fruit salad was great, although its hard to prepare a bad fruit salad. The potato pancakes were the best I had ever had. They were thick without being undercooked, and crispy without being oily, prompting me to ask the very attentive proprietor about who had cooked them. He answered that Peter, of the now gone-but-not-forgotten Mission Cafe on Monroe Ave had finally been talked into going in with Dicky’s on a vegetarian brunch effort, and this brunch was the first of many to come. He also told us to stick around for the stroke of noon, when the law would allow him to bring out the $5 bloody mary pitchers, $3 mimosas, and “adult coffee.”
Ben had a meeting with one of his real estate clients at 11:30, so we couldn’t stay and wait for them to bust out the bloody marys, but we did still have time to do a second round at the buffet. This time, a warmer that had been empty on the last pass had been filled with brown rice, and separately, black beans. I took some of each, piled on top of one another, and added salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and cheese. There was also a squash dish: “Its butternut,” said Peter the cook, as he shuffled the buffet items and accepted my compliments on his potato pancakes. We each took a warm up on our coffee and sat down to round two. The rice and beans were simple and filling. What can I say? I’m not a huge fan of brown rice, so it was the only thing I wasn’t crazy for, and I did wonder if I had simply missed the burrito wraps, or if there really weren’t any out for what seemed to be a plethora of fillings. The butternut squash on the other hand, was excellent. It was mashed coarsely, and accomplished the main prerogative of any butternut squash – to be both sweet and savory without loaded with sugar and salt. Again, well done Peter.
All in all, I’d say this is a brunch worth keeping an eye on. I wasn’t crazy about the $8.95 price point, but considering the ingredients (eggs are a higher margin product than the tofu we were eating) it wasn’t altogether unreasonable. I just wasn’t sure I really ate $9 worth of breakfast, and for that price some more options would have been nice. Still, its great to see a vegetarian brunch happening in Rochester, especially so close to my neighborhood, so its something I definitely foresee myself continuing to support. Next time I will get there later to check out Dicky’s take on the bloody mary… $5 a pitcher seems like a pretty good deal.