Tartine

No not that Tartine. I wish.

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Saturday I had an early morning appointment that finished before most places in Itaewon were even thinking about being open for brunch. Dan met me after dropping Ada off at the vet I remembered that I had seen a sign outside Tartine that advertised earlier weekend brunch times. Since they've been on my list of non Paris Baguette bakeries to try, this seemed like a great opportunity to expand our brunch options and cross a bakery off my list.

I got the German pancake which also came with hash browns, one slice of bacon and scrambled eggs. It was waaaay to much food. I should've just gotten the German pancake side, especially since the hashbrowns were barely cooked and the single piece of bacon tasted a little off. The German pancake was ok but weirdly dense instead of the souffle like texture I was expecting. Dan got a combo with bratwurst, scrambled eggs and french toast. I didn't try it but he described his bratwurst as somewhere between actual bratwurst and Korean sausage. His verdict on breakfast was "so we don't ever need to come here again" and I'm fairly certain I agree. Since they only do breakfast on the weekends and what they're really known for are their tartines, I decided to get a couple of pies to go in hopes of redeeming our extremely mediocre meal.

The fruit pies all looked a little too shellacked in glaze for my preference so I opted for the Lemon Meringue Pie and Butter Tart. Unfortunately, the meringue had slid off the pie a bit by the time we got home so this picture doesn't do justice to its original dramatic appearance. There was nothing technically wrong with these pies - the crust was buttery and flaky, the custards were smooth and the meringue beautifully browned, but they weren't for me. They are decidedly old school American diner sorts of pies. Dan's reaction to the butter tart was "it's like Werther's pie!". It was much too sweet for either of us but is probably somebody's cup of tea. The lemon meringue was better but we still both found the custard too sweet and even though it reminds me of my great grandfather, I hate this impressive looking but super dry meringue that was popular for a time. Give me a modern, silky, creamy meringue over this any day. For maybe two thirds the price I would've been happy with these pies but at almost $8.00 a piece they're not enough to my taste to be worth it.

The search for good pastry in Korea marches on.