Monday, January 26, 2009

Carman's Country Kitchen

The tiny space that houses Carman's Country Kitchen can barely contain the amount of folk art and attitude that belong to Carman and her staff. Her minuscule kitchen puts out four creative seasonal combinations a week for $12 each. The service is friendly and personal. Your server will introduce himself by name and ask you and your friends your names as well. If Carman has time there will be a some cozy small talk and probably a little sass. They brew great coffee, but all other beverages are bottled and they welcome you to BYOB.
Carman's country kitchen
The corner spot literally has four tables and a small counter, so it can't accommodate a large group, don't even try. In warmer months, Carman puts a table in the bed of her pick-up truck (the red truck with yellow door) and serves up to six more more eager mouths.
Carman's Country Kitchen
Omelets are something Carman elevates to an extreme level. Her choices are adventurous but border on too busy for my breakfast tastes. Red wine poached mushrooms and goat cheese with herbs was a complex filling that probably would have been more successful with one less ingredient. Sides will set you back another five dollars but offerings such as the beautiful sausage patty, pictured above, are what keep me going back for more. A warm bottle of maple syrup comes to the table with your meal and a small pour of Grade B goodness on a bite of that sausage is definitely something I wish I had more often on weekend mornings.
Carman's country kitchen (1)
Carman does french toast in a number of ways, all are delicious and made with thick custard soaked slices of challah bread. Pictured above is a tangy combination of strawberries and pineapple with lime syrup. I've also been lucky enough to devour the delicious Clementine, honey and coconut combination Carman whipped up one day. If you love French Toast, Carman will always surprise you with a funky new topping combination.
Carman's country kitchen (2)
Pancakes are equally adventurous in composition. Light fluffy cakes are filled with spiced poached pears and topped with persimon marscapone cheese. Any pancake topping can also be served on top of a crunchy Belgian style waffle. If you're lucky enough to dine at Carman's when she's offering baked bean and smoked cheese waffles or raspberry pancakes with fig jam, then you'll be hooked too.

Overall, the food here is beyond creative and usually the seemingly bizarre combinations really please. It's a bit on the pricey side, brunch for two can run over thirty dollars. Add that to the possibility of a wait and you might just want to hit the Oregon Diner if you're strapped for cash or need to eat immediately. Save Carman's for the days when you've got a few extra bucks and a few extra minutes to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Cash Only

Carman's Country Kitchen
1301 S 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Carman's Country Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  1. Taylor said...
    I've walked past this place countless times and always want to go in, but just never have. There are just too many good places in Philly!
    Anonymous said...
    Went here one time. I got pancakes. It was two pancakes, nothing with it, price-$12.00. Esentially I paid 6 bucks a pancake. And this wasnt recently it was a few years ago so I can't imagine how much it is now.

    I have never understood peoples obsession with brunch here, and I definitely don't get why anyone would pay 6 bucks for a pancake. how this places stays in business is beyond me.
    hungry crasian said...
    i love love this place, i went about 2 months ago, and it was the best brunch place i've been, better than honey's and that's saying a lot! yeah, it has a small selection, but i would rather have 4 super awesome dishes that are spot on rather than 100 things that are meh, good service, good coffee
    Comradechu said...
    Nice, I'll have to try out this place sometime with my gf. We're always on the lookout for good brunch places.

    (Anonymous, are you international? Are you saying that people from Phili are obsessed with brunch or people in the U.S. are obsessed with brunch?)
    Anonymous said...
    The atmosphere of Carman's Country Kitchen is certainly rather funky and unique and I liked the servers even though after the friendly introduction and taking our orders, nothing really happened. Carman was talking to a couple at the table next to us for maybe 25 minutes, in the meantime, we got really hungry (and were also a bit cold sitting next to the windows). After waiting for something to happen, the couple finally left and Carman went to the kitchen and cooked our order (another 20 minutes). We enjoyed the food and did not mind paying 20 per person for the two dishes with side orders. We were less pleased to wait so long for our food, hungry and totally ignored, as if we were not even sitting there.
    Anonymous said...
    $12 each ;)

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