When I got the call to review The Collins Quarter, I was really excited. There was already a buzz just two weeks after its opening, but would it live up to expectations?
The Collins Quarter is a new cafe/bar with an Australian theme located on the corner of Bull Street and Oglethorpe Avenue in Savannah's Historic District.
It is self-described as a "Coffee Lab. Wine Bar. Farm to Table. Neighborhood Cafe." The shop is currently open for coffee, "breakkie" and lunch.
We arrived just before 11 a.m. on a Sunday, and the place was hoppin' with a 30-minute wait and people lined up on the street. It wasn't as bad as we first thought because most of the people on the street were lined up for the Quarter's outdoor coffee and drink window that serves drip coffee, espresso, fine teas and other offerings to those passing by on Bull. Great idea.
Our wait turned out to be shorter than we were told as we were escorted to our table by the hostess. Collins Quarter's interior is inviting, with soaring ceilings, high windows, hardwood floors, chic lighting fixtures and contrasting red banquettes. The place is open, airy and noisy.
We had 15 minutes to order our breakkie, as lunch starts at 11:30 a.m.. Before ordering, we looked around at the surrounding tables. The banana bread at the adjacent table looked amazing. It was topped with raspberries, blackberries and micro-greens. The other dishes were eggs benedict and fritters consisting of sweet corn, chili pepper jam, avocado and poached eggs. Another table had ordered the pancakes, which looked equally as good. We asked the couple about the banana bread, and they both said it was the best banana bread they had ever had. At this point, my dining partner and I were hungry and now anticipating an excellent meal.
Thinking we might actually be in for a treat. Kathy ordered the Australian breakfast; I ordered the eggs benedict and drip-brewed coffee. This was the point where we started a conversation with Marcus, our server. He told us Collins Quarter had only been open for two weeks and that in addition to breakfast and lunch, they are open for drinks at night, have live music and soon will be open for dinner.
My coffee came first in a gargantuan cup. It hit the spot - hot and strong. Our breakfast arrived shortly thereafter. The eggs benedict was delightful. The hollandaise was over-the-top rich, the Savannah River Farms pancetta was crispy and the poached eggs oozed over the English muffin after being cut. The homemade tater tots and cherry tomatoes with arugula were a perfect accompaniment. Overall, the dish was excellent and one of the best eggs benedict I've had.
The Leo's Aussie Breakkie that Kathy ordered was equally as good but on the rustic side, as the name suggests. It was a very generous portion consisting of sausage, bacon, eggs, baked beans with sautÃ©ed mushrooms and grilled tomatoes over toast served with micro greens. I can only imagine that it would be a good meal to cure a hangover.
Throughout our breakfast, Marcus was friendly, attentive and informative. He knew the menu well and was apologetic when letting us know that the point of service system was down for a few minutes and that our food would be delayed. It was delayed slightly but well worth the wait.
The Collins Quarter did in fact live up to the hype and even exceeded it. The food was fresh, sophisticated and slightly offbeat in a very good way. The atmosphere was inviting and refreshing, and the service could not have been better.
I would highly recommend The Collins Quarter for coffee, breakkie, lunch and, in the future, dinner. We plan on going back often, and for drinks and dinner when they start serving.
For more information about the Eat Squad, go to www.eatitandlikeit.com.