Sunday Memorial Day weekend, Irene and I went to Julian's for breakfast. She'd heard from one of the girls who work for her that it was "cool". In Providence, I wasn't sure what that meant, exactly; but why not live dangerously?
From the outside, Julian's appears to be just another neighborhood restaurant. Diners were seated at sidewalk tables under the warm sun, some with dogs planted at their feet; newspapers were open, coffee and bloody marys were consumed, conversation flowed.
Stepping inside, the first thing I noticed was the huge red pirate flag hanging above a black laquered bar. Band stickers and rock memorabilia decorated the walls, tattooed and pierced servers in black t-shirts and studded belts played air drums to the Sabbath-like music droning in the background as they worked the room. It was at once an indie record store, a rock bar and, we found out, a place to get some of the best food in town.
The buzz is that the staff is made up of Johnson & Wales students. Watching the action from our barstools, the intensity in the open kitchen was certainly impressive. The cooks moved effortlessly in a ballet of mixing, sauteeing and flipping until each perfectly prepared meal was sat gorgeously on a plate. Fresh ingredients blended in original ways - avocado & salsa in a Benedict, vegan gingerbread pancakes, hot sauce-infused tofu scram(ble) - make up dishes with names like Thee Weeping Torreador or the Jedi Mind Trick.
I've since read some posts/reviews that complain the service is slow (people seem to get very wound up about that) and it's true. We waited awhile for our meals. But honestly, there's a bar. And provocative decor. And Camaro rock playing on the soundsystem. How could you possibly get bored, especially when you're waiting for a Sith Lord omelette?