Brunch in Dublin is becoming a religion. People start discussing their weekend plans as early as Wednesday and finding the right place to eat the best meal of the week is now nearly important as the night out that proceeds it. As the city has come out of it's shell over the last couple of years so have the brunch options. I used to swear by Odessa as my "go to" spot but that is starting to change. It isn't that Odessa has gone downhill (it is still solid) but more that the standard elsewhere has been on the up. Well after much sampling I've found a new place that sets the bar when it comes to brunch in Dublin. San Lorenzos is a little spot on George's Street which prides itself on it's Brunch Of Champions.
I'd eaten here before a couple of years ago and it was decent but the vibe in the place has changed. It used to be very Italian but it is now more New York Italian. There is a big difference and the pumping tunes, laid back waiting staff and what looked like the most epic brunch menu in history made me feel like I was sitting in the meat packing district. What made me choose San Lorenzo was the opening time…11 o'clock. It amazes me just how many Dublin places still choose to open at 12.30 for brunch at the weekends wrongly presuming that everybody drinks and will fall in hungover in bits looking for brunch after 1 in the afternoon. Eleven is the right time to open and the place was already busy and I was told they'd need the table back which is unusual at lunch but also a good sign of the popularity of their new menu.
Now although the menu had a ton of options that excited me it was impossible to look past the Lobster Eggs benedict. If brunch is all about being outrageous, eating crazy shit, drinking at breakfast and generally pigging out then this is the dish that should be on every menu. Fresh fucking lobster served with eggs, rich sauce, asparagus and roast potatoes? Who doesn't want to start their weekend with that? I was actually glad to see the dish cost 20 Euros. Any cheaper and I knew they'd be cutting corners with the lobster but this is the real deal. A big juicy claw, fleshy tail and loads of chopped meat spread on the bread. The sauce was absolutely fucking deslih. Surprisingly it was the potatoes that stole the show though. Too often lazy chefs crawl out of their beds hungover, scratch their arse and throw a few pre chopped potatoes into a deep fat fryer and call them brunch. These spuds were clearly freshly peeled and roasted in a proper roasting tray in the oven and the result was mind blowing. The proper taste of roast potato that I'd forgotten when eating out. Mixed with the sauce and the lobster I nearly jizzed my pants.
I'd a coffee which was absolutely superb. I also ordered a fresh juice with oranges and lemons which sounded amazing at at over four Euros I presumed would give me a massive health kick. I was disappointed to see it come in a bottle. It said it was organic but I was expecting something hand squeezed at that price. I was way too full to eat anything else but Anthony the wonderful host insisted I had a "small" portion of their Nutella cheesecake. Now I'm a cheesecake fan and I was expecting something decent but this was off the freaking charts good. I mean it felt like my heart was going to stop as I ate it given how rich it was but this was like eating liquid gold (whatever that might taste like?). Superb.
What I love about this place is the vibe of the room. It is a real brunch spot whereas last time I was here it just felt like a dull enough room. A bit meh. Suddenly the place is buzzing and it feels to me like this is going to become the main "go to" place for brunch in town. Odessa won that title because they had consistency and produced great food for years on end at a high standard. We'll have to wait and see if San Lorenzo's can keep doing this in the long run but if they do you won't be able to get a table in here and I can see days where there are queue's down George's Street trying to get in the door. Get the Lobster benedict, trust me. You can waste 20 quid on all sorts of stuff in life but this will be the best money you ever spend. As the cool young people in here would say…totes amazeballs.