Munch goes to Flowers in the Attic

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Munch warned Dear One of Munch of the plan days in advance: Sunday brunch was on for Flowers in the Attic, an intriguing combination of a floral shop, cafe and gift shop in an old Victorian house in Penn Hills.

The website indicated brunch was served until 2 p.m. Munch didn't think there would be any trouble getting to Penn Hills by then, but DOOM took awhile to get going that morning. While DOOM shuffled about in a robe with the newspaper and a mug of coffee, Munch started to stress about getting to brunch on time, and Munch hates stressing during brunch time. By the time we got to Flowers in the Attic, it was nearly 2.

Munch's stress was short-lived. When we arrived, the waitress congratulated us for getting there just in time as she seated us. (Munch has never been so warmly received by a server just beginning to contemplate the end of her shift.) We ordered coffee and orange juice and looked around the house. Each room has tables for dining with gifts lining the walls -- everything from lotions and candles to antiques and scarves and those signs with inspirational quotes about living and laughing and loving. (Not Munch's style. All of the inspirational quotes in Munch's house are about eating like a champion.) Faux flowers sat on tables and throughout the room, which DOOM noted was kind of odd given that there's a florist operating out of the carriage house behind the restaurant and gift shop.

But that's neither here nor there. Flowers in the Attic was a bit of a sensory overload, but Munch can confirm one thing: The food was great.

Munch ordered Chef Donna's Quiche of the Day ($10.99). That Sunday, it was a Mediterranean quiche with spinach, feta, tomatoes and olives, and it was delicious. The spinach was fresh, the egg was fluffy and the briny feta and olives balanced the delicate egg and crust. A side of roasted potatoes with rosemary rounded out the meal, but Munch was feeling under-carbohydrated, so Munch ordered a croissant to split with DOOM.

DOOM ordered the "Bird's Nest" -- crusty artisan bread with a nested egg, cheese and veggies ($11.99). DOOM chose provolone, roasted red peppers and onion for the nest. Both breakfasts were served on darling, leaf-shaped green plates.

DOOM was quite pleased with the nest and the croissant but declared that the potatoes had too much rosemary.

As we finished, the waitress encouraged us to check out the upstairs. As we walked up to the counter to pay, Munch expressed an interest in exploring.

"Are you really going to make me do this?" DOOM hissed. Munch noted it would be journalistically irresponsible not to survey the whole house.

DOOM begrudgingly followed Munch up the steps.

The second floor contained more tchotchke and candles and lotions n'at. A beautiful claw-foot bathtub was full of goods. Munch was pretty much ready to head out when DOOM spotted an old Remington typewriter.

DOOM quietly thanked Munch for wanting to explore the upstairs and then paid for the typewriter.

Since the lucky find, DOOM has been chatting about writing a novel. And when that novel is finished, Munch expects it will be dedicated to the Post-Gazette's anonymous restaurant reviewer.



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