Fall has finally arrived in Tallahassee, and after a lazy morning at the farm, we decided to have brunch before we tackled various home improvement projects, to avoid watching how badly our fantasy football teams were performing. We passed on our favorite brunch spots, in favor of trying out Fifth and Thomas located at 1122 Thomasville Road.
Billed as a kitchen and music house, Fifth and Thomas would not be out of place in Nashville. The vibe was laid back and cool with a twang, as a three piece band played live music and patrons sipped brunch-y cocktails at rustic wood topped tables with an “FT” brand. Despite being Parent’s Weekend at FSU, there was no wait, with plenty of available empty tables.
Fifth and Thomas carries the music theme onto the menu by offering a set list (entrees), the hits (handcrafted cocktails), and an encore (desserts). Our server allowed us enough time to work our way through the menu. I had my heart set on the huevos rancheros, but when I tried to order it, I was told the kitchen was out. The eggs Benedict was highly recommended by our server as an alternative option, and I was curious to see their spin on this brunch standard. Kirsten opted to order the steak and eggs. I also asked for a cup of coffee and was brought a gigantic steaming mug. The kitchen had run out of clean cups, but at least I avoided it being served in a glass mason jar, like another unlucky patron.
While we waited for our meals the band wrapped up and collected their instruments. We waited, and waited, and waited some more, before we were unfortunately witnesses to a partner of Fifth and Thomas (as identified by our server) berate two staff members on the floor of the dining room, and take a third aside. To say it was awkward would have been an understatement. Sadly, after those exchanges, most of the attention of the entire wait staff was devoted to pleasing that one table, to the detriment of other customers.
After 50 minutes, our food finally appeared. On my dish, two perfectly poached eggs sat atop sliced andouille and collard greens on a toasted English muffin with a crawfish hollandaise sauce completing the dish. My enthusiasm for the dish was tempered, as a result of it being excessively salty. The hollandaise sauce lacked a rich crawfish flavor (which seemed to be the star of the dish, to read the menu), and while I hoped the greens would add a touch of smokiness, they fell flat. The English muffin looked to be un-toasted.
Despite the failings of my meal, it was far better than Kirsten’s. Her steak, a central ingredient of steak and eggs, was served extremely rare, despite being ordered medium. We seldom send food back to the kitchen, but had to take this step, as Kirsten adheres to a strict “no raw meat” diet. Because the steak was sliced in the kitchen when served, we were assured that a new steak would be grilled, but when the alleged “second” steak returned, her heart sank. It appeared to be the same steak, cooked longer, and covered with more fixings to hide that fact. The steak was now tough, and we had to send it back to the kitchen again. On a positive note, Kirsten found the home fries and the two eggs cooked over medium to be on point.
With my meal now cold (I had waited to eat until Kir’s arrived, because I eat much faster than her), and with the star half of her meal inedible, we decided to throw in the towel. The manager acknowledged our frustration and offered to take care of our meal, which, while refused, we did appreciate the gesture. Sadly, even accounting for that effort, and the friendly wait staff, it was insufficient to redeem an otherwise sub-par brunch experience.
We really wanted to like Fifth and Thomas, but from a food standpoint, our meal was a disaster. With so many other excellent options in town, we probably won’t return to this spot for brunch, but would like to point out the dinner menu looks more promising. Overall Fifth and Thomas is worth checking out for the live music and a mimosa, but look to get your meal elsewhere.
Fifth and Thomas is open Thursday (5 pm – 10 pm), Friday and Saturday (5 pm – 2 am) and Sunday (11 am – 3 pm). For more information find them on Facebook or visit fifthandthomas.com.
Service: A (Server) F (Kitchen)