Staff Writer ’24
Sunday brunch at Mallot is non-negotiable. Saturday brunch is a different story: all of the dining halls at The Claremont Colleges make a good brunch on Saturday. This weekend, the standouts at both brunches I had were toasts.
I went to try Pitzer’s brunch with a friend last Saturday. We brought our own espressos and set them down, along with our jackets, at our table. We got breakfast burritos, french toast, and cinnamon rolls to share.
The Saturday standout was the french toast: unbelievably good. It had a deeply burnished crust, with the faintest hints of the pillowy yellow texture of the bread underneath. The contrast between the soft and sweet interior and the crispy, almost burnt exterior dusted with powdered sugar, keeps it from being a mushy mess. Why is it that conversations over brunch can be so much lazier and more wide ranging than other meals? We talked about bagels and chai tea and Tommy Lee and Pamela Andersen and understanding other people. Brunch has no end time.
On Sunday, I usually choose to have the brunch at Mallot because I think this brunch is the strongest. The avocado toast bar, which replaces the Grill station at Mallot on Sunday mornings. Slices of blush colored tomatoes and rings of purple onions are the only staples that remain the same. On Sundays, we also find capers, arugula, slices of mozzarella cheese and smoked salmon, basil pesto sauce, and fig balsamic glaze.
Everyone lines up to grab thick slices of toast from a large bowl with a pair of tongs. When I’m making my own toast at home, I usually try to get a sunny wheat brown color, just this side of burnt. The toasts in the bowl look barely toasted, the darker lines on these slices of toast are like beauty marks on the bread. Looks are deceiving, because these slices of bread somehow still taste crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. They also have a salty, buttery taste that is delicious without being greasy. I’m not sure if the bread is grilled or not, but it has that comforting feeling.
I prefer to actually assemble the avocado toast when I sit down, so I put bread on one plate and the avocado spread, pesto, mozzarella, arugula, and capers on another plate. I don’t love smoked salmon and I don’t care for tomato slices on avocado toast. I had a bad experience with red onions a couple of lunches ago—I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth for the rest of the afternoon—so I am still avoiding red onions. I take my plates and head to The Motley. I would like to state for the record that if Mallot were still serving the overnight oats, I would totally have had a bowl.
The Motley coffeehouse at Scripps is one of my favorite places on campus. Walking into The Motley feels like walking into my best friend’s bedroom. The brick walls are covered with art made by other students. The chalkboard wall is autographed by lots of Scripps students. The couches and chairs are comfortable and there’s usually someone that I know sitting there. Sun shines in through the windows, which is covered in paper hearts attached with scotch tape, and a pop song is always humming in the background.
Most mornings, I bring an espresso into The Motley and just grab sugar and oat milk for my coffee. Sometimes I treat myself to a sweet and spicy chai or an iced latte. But this Sunday, the students who work at The Motley had organized a baby themed shift, with specialty drinks, including a blackberry latte, a coconut cream latte, and a strawberry matcha latte. I decided to try the strawberry matcha latte.
The day was cloudy and slightly misty. It felt like the last sprinkle of rain that southern California needed to let springtime officially begin to bloom. The strawberry matcha was delicious. It felt like the perfect drink to start the week with. The oat milk matcha tasted luscious, clean, with a faint note of grass, and the bright, sweet strawberry flavor was perfectly balanced against the bitter note of matcha. MVPS of brunches this weekend: french toast, avocado toasts, and The Motley! Three cheers.
Image Source: Isabel Suh ’24