Communal + Breakfast

One of the best perks of being a blogger is going to blogger events with friends at great restaurants.  Such was the case when I was invited to have breakfast at Communal this past Saturday morning.

When I first heard Communal would be serving breakfast, I was overjoyed.  I’ve patiently waited and waited.

As my husband and I were driving through Provo one day, we passed Communal.  I thought about how wonderful it is for Provo and my community to finally have a decent place to go out for breakfast or brunch.

There are not many places that serve breakfast to begin with–just chain restaurants and diners.  My family does not eat at chain restaurants, and rarely at diners.  Besides, when I go out for a meal, I want to be served REAL food.  The kind of food like I would make at home.

Communal did not disappoint me.

We were served steel-cut oatmeal first.  Our family has a love affair with steel-cut oats.  We eat them or regular oats practically every morning.  I enjoyed this part of the meal for its simplicity.  Anyone can make oatmeal, but eating it made by someone else (the right way) was nice.  It was served with a small pitcher of milk, a dish of brown sugar and dried bananas.

I had to take a closer look at the dried bananas.  I abhor banana chips, so I will admit I was hesitant to try the dried banana pieces.  They were actually quite delicious.  They were chewy and slightly tart.  The banana flavor wasn’t at all overpowering.

Then we sampled the best granola in the entire world.

I think this is what makes Communal my favorite restaurant.  They can do simple or fancy, and they do both equally well.  Granola may seem like something boring or something you could just grab out of the bulk bin at the supermarket.

Folks, not all granola is created equal.  This was granola perfection.  Each element maintained its own flavor–nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and grains–yet there was a general melding of flavors at the same time.  I hope they bag this and sell it.  Because I’d buy it for myself and to give as a gift.

We sprinkled the granola over thick, tangy Greek yogurt and drizzled it with sweet honey.  I had to be nice and share with my friends, but I wanted to elbow them out of the way and lick the bowl clean.

The beverages were impressive too.  I didn’t try any of the hot drinks, but everyone who did raved.  My beverage of choice was the grapefruit juice from our local Winder Dairy.  It was a tough choice between that and apple juice from Allred Orchards, another of our favorite local businesses.

The giant blueberry muffins were delightful.  Baking them in parchment paper “cups” is brilliant.  The crust of the muffin had a sweet crunch that gave way to a light, airy, soft interior studded with tart berries.

Carina was kind enough to split the old fashioned baking powder biscuit for us to share.

Again, perfection.  It was crispy on the outside and light on the inside.  It melted in my mouth.

Now imagine this biscuit topped with a creamy, sausage gravy.  (I didn’t get a great shot of that, so you’ll have to use your imagination and trust me.)

There were so many other menu items left to try.  All of them met and exceeded my high expectations.

A chorus of oohs and aahs could be heard when the French toast was placed before us.  French toast made from housemade bread baked in a pain de mie pan.  It was lovely with the apples, whipped salted butter, and real maple syrup.

Baked Eggs with Housemade Chorizo and Tomatoes.  It was so rich.  I’d already sampled everything you saw above, so it was hard to appreciate it.  This is something my husband would love.  Communal has partnered with Clifford Family Farms, a local farm that sells organic eggs from humanely raised chickens.  I like knowing where these eggs came from.

(Post edit:  Forgot to add in the omelet and home fries.)

I loved the omelet with fresh herbs and creme fraiche.  It was nothing short of fabulous.  The home fries with the onions…you need to go try it.

Housemade bacon and sausage.
Colton Soelberg, the man behind our delicious breakfast.
I overheard Colton telling another blogger that they get pork bellies from Niman Ranch and then smoke them in their own smoker.  Wow.  I’m impressed.  After my brief stint with veganism (more later on that), I care even more about where the meat comes from and how the animals are raised.  A+ on that for Communal.
Last, but certainly not least, was the steak and eggs.  I had a tiny bite of the steak and it was achingly tender.  The sauce was bright.  Such a great dish and worth the splurge of calories.
As we finished eating, Colton spoke to us about the mission of the Heirloom Restaurant Group.  Every time I listen to Colton or Joe talk about their mission as restauranteurs, I am inspired.  I can’t help but want to be a part of it.  It’s something I believe in with my whole  heart–eating good, local, organic, and sustainable real food.
Colton said, “When you leave Communal, we want you to feel like you’ve just gotten a hug…a hug from someone you like.”  We all chuckled.  But that is always how I feel after I eat there.  I can taste the care and love that goes into the preparation of the food from the farm to the table.
Bottom line:  If you want to go somewhere special, somewhere where homey meets sophisticated, somewhere reminiscent of a restaurant in Europe or a big city, then this is the place to go.  The elements of this food remind me of meals I ate in Norway.  I’d even love to see Communal add a smorgasbord type option to their breakfast menu somewhere down the line.  (We’d be first in line for that.)  The idea of serving home-style food isn’t a new one, but Communal takes it to the next level and makes it worth leaving your house to get.
Communal
102 N.  University Ave.
Provo, UT  84601
801.373.8000
Open for breakfast starting tomorrow, November 30, 2010.
Tuesday-Friday:  7:30 am -10:30 am
Saturday Brunch:  8:00 am-1:00 pm
Twitter @heirloomgroup

Disclosure: My meal was on the house and I was given a $25 gift certificate. My opinions are my own.

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73 Comments

  1. I love Communal and P712. My favorite restaurants in the area. They are amazing, and make me feel like I can think about where my food came from when going out and still be happy.

  2. I’m so happy you are back! I actually think we are in the same stake…I spotted you at a stake youth activity earlier in the fall, but was too chicken to come say hi. Anyway…I’ve been wanting to try communal, and tried to go there for my anniversary earlier this year, but happened to try to go on a day they are closed. I was bummed. Would love to try it!

  3. First, I’d like to say welcome back! I *love* reading your blog. You have a gift and make me want to lick my monitor with your photos! :)
    I’d never heard of this place, but the hubs and i are most def going to try it!
    Thanks! :D

  4. We love P712 and the one time I was privileged to go to Communal it was fantastic- I think I might have actually licked my plate clean! A side note I am so happy you have come back to this blog- it was one of the first blogs I started reading when I lived out in New York and I fell in love with all your yummy recipes. Thanks.

  5. Oh my, I don’t know how you managed to eat it all, and in the same breath I know I would not be able to resist trying everything. It all looks so delicious!!

  6. Oh my goodness it all looks and sounded amazing! And you go girl you did a great job capturing it with your camera. Communal must be a bright and airy restaurant.

    Btw, I’m making breakfast for dinner! :)
    ~ingrid

  7. P712 is one of my favorite restaurants, even after living in NYC and I’ve been dying to try Communal every time I come to town! This breakfast looked so yummy.

  8. It’s great to see you back on here. I never bookmarked your other blog so I never remember to check it. I think about you every time I drive past your house. I’ve wanted to try Communal for a long time–now the desire is even greater.

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