If your ideal Saturday morning involves breakfast in bed,with banana-walnut pancakes, a French twist omelet, and/or (“and” always preferable) the BEST bacon experience of your life, then place your order by Friday afternoon. The Reading List is revamping brunch at Yale.
When we read about this homemade brunch delivery company started by “four friends with a passion for brunch and organic, responsibly grown ingredients and biodegradable packaging”, we liked what we heard. After placing our order on Friday, we couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to see what The Reading List was all about. The girls behind The Reading List set a table in the Davenport Courtyard and started us off with blood orange virgin mimosas. I couldn’t stop refilling my glass with this refreshing mix of citrusy orange and bubbly base with a touch of pineapple. While we waited, they brought us a fruit salad and chocolate ganache (which we ended up eating plain, it was that delicious…even at 10 AM). The Reading List uses as much organic produce as it can, and this was just the start of a fresh, delicious meal.
We got three orders of The Hamlet (a combination of any three flavors), for a total of 9 pancakes. The Reading List relies on high-quality ingredients for sweetness and flavor, so every bite is satisfying and complex without the need of extra sugar in their recipes or a mountain of maple syrup on top of the ‘cakes. They serve their own maple cream glaze, which is a perfect complement to the dessert-like flavors. The chocolate ganache made another appearance with the pancakes and we didn’t say no. Literally licked the cup of it clean.
We tried to control ourselves and take pictures before we dug in but the pancakes smelled too good and we got a little impatient. Here are some group shots (they posed) of the pancakes with descriptions below, starting at the one with pecans on the far left and moving clockwise.
The Scarlet Letter: a red velvet pancake
The Beautiful and the Damned: chocolate hazelnut pancake
The Curious George: banana-bread walnut pancake
The Watership Down: carrot cake pancake with walnuts, raisins, and candied ginger
The Oliver Twist: cinnamon pancake
One more shot, in case the first wasn’t convincing enough.
These were all amazing, but we decided that the winners were the cinnamon, banana-bread, carrot cake, and pumpkin. Say what you will, but I think it has something to do with the ultra-fresh produce that goes into them. Every Friday afternoon, The Reading List purchases its ingredients for Saturday’s brunch production at the Union Square Farmer’s Market in NYC. Can it get any better than that?
The sides were equally irresistible. The French twist omelet tasted exactly like my mama’s: light, fresh, fluffy. Beyond comparison, however, was the bacon. Nicole, one of the masterminds behind this operation, told us that she comes from a Southern family that “does not mess around” when it comes to bacon. No kidding. Crispy, smoky, thick, perfect.
After our meal, we went to see the girls’ setup in the Davenport student kitchen and heard about the challenges of making great food and still delivering efficiently. They recalled their first delivery- the weekend of the Nemo blizzard- when they trudged to TD, knee deep in snow, with their pancakes still hot. As for their recipes, The Reading List can tweak them to accomodate dietary restrictions- as long as you mention it in your order, they’ll whip up gluten-free, dairy-free, or even vegan pancakes (though they won’t be as heavenly as the original). Their pancake flavors are always being tested and tweaked, although the ones we tried were close to perfect. They’ll be adding to their menu as time goes on, so be on the lookout for new flavors and sides.
The Reading List has quickly gained popularity (they got a ton of orders for brunch on Valentine’s day… who thought of this and can I date them) and they want to give our readers some love. For a free pancake with your order during the month of April, Chew Haven readers can like The Reading List on Facebook here and enter the promo code CHEWHAVEN972 in the comments section of your order form.
The online order form is for delivery on Saturday mornings, but you can email them to set up a pop-up brunch like ours in the Dport couryard or elsewhere (Old Campus, in suites, etc.) They don’t have any other delivery dates yet, but be sure to check their Facebook page and website for updates.
When the weekend comes around, just sit back, relax, and save your brunch swipes for Durfee’s. The girls will take care of the rest.