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Incredible Edibles

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The next time you approach a well-stocked bakery case, look closely at the subtle rivalry on the doilies. To the untrained eye, there is no difference between the blush of hand-molded truffles and the delicate curl of rugelach made with pressed fruit and sweet ricotta, but to undeniable dessert psychopaths like me, there is a definite hierarchy. Brownies are sorted into fudge-y, sprinkled, nut-spiked and cake-y and danish must be judged not only on the flakiness of its pastry but also the flavor, texture and finish of its filling. Of all such categories, the penultimate is frosting. If you don't frost with excellence, nothing underneath matters. That said, Incredible Edibles has one of the most fantastic butter creams ever.

Unfortunately, frosting doesn't exactly qualify as breakfast, at least not when your dining companion is a strapping young man accustomed to eggs, bacon and all the trimmings. So I decided to look past the gorgeous dainties at Incredible Edibles and try their new brunch menu on for size. I noticed at least four gourmet variations on eggs benedict, waffles bathed in fresh cream and seasonal fruit, quiche, frittatas and granola. The prices were considerably high, but we risked disappointment in the spirit of total indulgence.

While waiting for breakfast, we drank hot coffee and read the complimentary morning paper. A group of old gentlemen in sweaters held conference at a nearby table, and their heads gleamed in the light that poured through the giant windows facing Fort Street. Just as I hit the funnies, breakfast hit the table. Two large plates sat before us with sides of roasted potatoes and maple glazed bacon, one with a benedict made of fresh crab cakes and lemon hollandaise and the other with smoked salmon, poached eggs and Leslie's original "incredible hollandaise." Both were rimmed with fresh fruit.

The first bite of my salmon covered English muffin was heaven. Despite layers of gooey topping, the muffin was still warm and crisp. The egg was cooked to a fluffy perfection, the salmon was a deep peach color and wonderfully flavorful and the sauce lived up to its qualifier. It was all the right kind of creamy and tangy, and they definitely weren't stingy with the ladle. The boy's crab cake version was even better, the cakes just slightly crunchy and filled with the fragrance and texture of sweet meat, diced red pepper and a lovely combination of spices. Then came the potatoes. Red, gold and purple varieties had been sliced super thin, dusted with seasoning and then slow-roasted. The result was a distinctly un-greasy delicious side that I ate with my fingers. The boy liked them too, but it was the bacon that won him in the end. He had hoped for slightly larger portions for the price, but the dense, syrupy strips made up for the size. We agreed it is the best restaurant bacon we've ever had, and for meat man, that is serious.

Hardly a morsel was left on the plates when our server brought the check with two white chocolate covered strawberries. What, no 15-year-old pillow mints? They were so unexpected and scrumptious I almost ran into the kitchen and hugged everybody. I left with a huge smile on my face and not a speck of frosting on my fingers. And I would do it again.

--Erin Ryan can write under the influence of carpet fumes.