Choosing a place for brunch last Sunday was tough. We decided on something we never do, but that so many others on the north shore always do. We went to Coffee Rani, which is mere minutes from the house. Tom doesn’t like the fast-casual program of ordering at the counter, which is why it has always been off our radar.
But the food here is good. There is no doubt about it. The restaurant’s namesake, Rani, is the daughter of Angelle and Gary Darling of Zea fame. This restaurant pre-dates anything the Taste Buds (Darling, Hans Lindberg, and current owner Greg Reggio) did as a team on their own. All three worked together at Copeland’s before starting Semolina in a tiny strip mall in Covington in the early Nineties.
It was after-church Sunday brunch, so the place was packed. But it’s always packed here. We wanted breakfast. I got the side quiche, side biscuit and side grits. (I like ordering this way.) The grits were cold and gloopy, and even presented poorly. But who can complain about a breakfast plate priced $8.75? This also came with some fresh fruit.
The quiche was small but very filling, and tasted absolutely great. Crustless, it was loaded with chopped ham and bacon and cheese, and was also served with fresh fruit. I have thought about this quiche since I had it, and that is something that rarely happens. I will go get another one of these quiches very soon. Tom got a breakfast sandwich on a croissant. It looked like an ordinary but good breakfast sandwich with a folded egg and an appropriate amount of bacon. He admitted it was tasty enough. We both though the grits needed work.
If ever there was a place that could be called a "chick" place, it is Coffee Rani. There is a yoga studio upstairs, and the Mandeville location is a hangout for after-tennis meetings for Mandeville moms. It is the perfect menu for this. The sandwiches and salads being delivered to all the other tables Sunday were very nice-looking. And they are more than nice-looking. They taste good. ML is delighted with my report about Coffee Rani, because she loves it and thought she was the only one who does. I had to be reminded of its pleasures, so I will now join her.
Throughout the meal, I had that same thought we often have: why don’t we come here more often? I know why Tom doesn’t go more often. The order at the counter program is a deal-breaker. And the service was slow, which coincidentally, was our main thought about dinner the previous night at Zea.
234 Lee Lane Covington
3517 Highway 190 Mandeville
Friday and Saturday till 9