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Justin Thyme Cafe and Baked by Susan

10 Jun

 

171 Grand Street
Croton on Hudson NY 10520 (Map)
914.271.0022 
 
Baked by Susan
163 Grand Street
Croton on Hudson NY 10520
914.862.0874
http://www.bakedbysusan.com/
 

Who is this Justin Thyme and more importantly, how was his brunch? And who’s Susan? The WBC found out…sort of.

 

Attendees: Sylvia, Shelley, Jeff

 

Sylvia

To tell you the truth, Justin Thyme Cafe has been on our list for quite some time.  I’ve been there for lunch before and remember thinking it was decent for a lunch with friends post Muddy Buddy race, but I’ve always been a little hesitant about going for brunch.  Perhaps I wasn’t too impressed by the Sunday Brunch menu they had up online.  It was just a handful of rather generic offerings coupled with higher than normal prices.  Something didn’t scream “Must try Justin Thyme for brunch!”

This weekend, I decided to take the plunge.  It was a nice day out and they had some tables set up outside under the tree.  We opted to sit outside.  After perusing the menu, I almost settled on the Breakfast Burrito, but after another more closer examination of the menu, I noticed a small little section at the bottom of one of the pages that said Omelettes.  Oh, they had Omelettes as part of their regular menu!

The nice thing was you could build your own Omelette from their vast selection of fixins.  However, each fixin will cost you extra on top of the base Omelette price of $8.95.  I ordered an Omelette with Spinach and Brie, which came with fries (which I subbed for sweet potato fries) and toast.  That combination costs about $12.90.  Now, as I type this I just realized I never got my toast.  Our waiter even came back out after I had ordered (but before the meals came out) to ask me what kind of toast I wanted, but somehow it never arrived.

The omelette was good.  Brie was probably not the best choice for an omelete because when melted, it gets a bit greasy.  Plus it coagulates quickly as it cools, into a solid mass.  They did use fresh spinach and the eggs were fluffy and flavorful.  The sweet potato fries were the best part.  Crispy, but not greasy, even as they got cold.

The czar says:  Perhaps a nice place for drinks, or lunch or dinner if you want a more gastropub-ish place, but not quite a brunch place.  The food is your run of the mill bar food not quite justified by the quality or originality (in terms of brunch).

After brunch, we ended up wandering into Baked By Susan down the street for a quick dessert.  I’ve seen Baked By Susan goods in some eaterys, so this was a kind of visit to the mothership, if you will.  I ended up with a Blondie, which was huge.  It was good.  It wasn’t greasy and there was a good distribution of nuts and chocolate chips throughout.  Not my absolute favorite (Chiboust is still my favorite), but very good nonetheless.

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Shelley

I’m not going to skirt around the issue. I’ll get right to it. I was disappointed by my meal at Justin Thyme Cafe.

I wasn’t in a particularly breakfasty mood this morning (sorry readers), so I instead browsed the lunch menu. I wanted something kind of healthy, so I decided against the fish and chips (which were also a hefty $16–that’s alot for lunch). So, instead I opted for the Mediterranean Wrap, which was to be hummus, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes all in a pita. I asked for no tomatoes and chose cole slaw as my side. Now, this wasn’t a cheap meal either–$13 and change–but still, it would be cheaper than the fish and chips (and since it has the word “Mediterranean” in the name, it has to be healthy…right?).

When my meal arrived, the first thing I noticed were, lo and behold, tomatoes, and lots of them. I sighed and figured I’d just pick them out. Now, complaint number two is that if you’re going to make a hummus sandwich, the hummus should be thicker and able to hold its form. This was not the case. As you’ll see from the picture, the hummus was watery and runny, making my sandwich a very messy undertaking. I found myself apologizing to Sylvia and Jeff several times because I was covered in hummus. The hummus wasn’t well-spiced either. It was just a bland, watery, and somewhat nauseating meal. And certainly not worth the $13 I had to shell out.

And to top it all off, we didn’t meet anyone named Justin Thyme.

Side note: Since Jeff didn’t get around to writing a review, I feel compelled to comment on the “bacon” that he ordered. Yes, that’s right, “bacon.” Quotation marks totally intentional. You see, the “bacon” that Jeff got to accompany his French toast was not the hearty bacon strips that you’d expect at brunch. Instead these were small, shriveled, dry bits of brownish stuff that looked halfway between pork rinds and pre-packaged bacon bits. Definitely not worth what he paid for them either.

So to smooth over my grumpiness from this lackluster and overpriced meal, I needed a good dessert. Fortunately Baked by Susan is right down the street.

If you frequent the weekend farmer’s markets around Westchester, then chances are good you’ve seen some of Baked by Susan’s delectable-looking baked goods. The mothership, as it were, is an inviting storefront with an even more inviting aroma. Upon walking in, you’re on olfactory cloud 9 from the smells of fresh cookies, muffins, cupcakes, and other sweets baking in the large open kitchen right behind the front counter. You can pull up a seat and watch as the staff at Baked by Susan prepares the latest batch of yummy sweets. A good cupcake was in order, and I got a vanilla one with chocolate frosting (my favorite color). At $2 and change, it was completely reasonable, and I’m going to make a bold statement: this was the best cupcake I’ve had from any of the cupcake places in Westchester. The vanilla cake was moist and buttery, and had that comforting homemade taste to it. You know what I’m talking about, the kind of taste like your mom made you a batch of birthday cupcakes. The frosting was still very fresh and didn’t have that hardened quality to it that so many other cupcakes have. And the amount of frosting on the cupcake was just right. It wasn’t piled miles high, it was a modest amount of frosting but just right given the size of the cupcake. (And if you want to sample several different flavors, you can get a couple of mini-cupcakes. The flavors available the day we went were vanilla, chocolate, marble, and red velvet.)

Baked by Susan provided a reasonably priced and delicious dessert. I’m eager to return to the store to sample some more fresh-from-the-oven baked goods. (And yes, we did see the Susan.)

If you’re going to Croton, skip brunch and just go right for dessert. I’m sure Susan will have something wonderful waiting for you.

 

 

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  1. Jessica

    October 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    could you please post our Dine Justin Thyme Cafe website with this blog http://dinejustinthyme.com

    thanks!